No return ticket to nihilistic 90s but still worth the ride
Choose life with nae regrets. Choose to belatedly revisit one of the defining films of the mid-1990s, which shoved a dirty needle into the arm of Cool Britannia and stuck up two fingers to the notion that successful homegrown films could only be pristine period dramas or feel-good romantic comedies.
Choose the holy filmmaking trinity of director Danny Boyle, screenwriter John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald, who induced that intoxicating rush of blood to the head 21 years ago.
Choose a narrative joint rolled from Irvine Welsh’s novels, cut with whirling camerawork that propels embittered characters down a new rabbit hole of nihilistic desire.
Choose the reunion of a predominantly Scottish cast on location in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Choose a multi-faceted portrait of modern masculinity – fathers estranged from children, impotent husbands, friends torn apart by betrayal – to sow the seeds of anguish and reminiscence.
Choose a flabby-two hours rather than a lean 93 minutes of the original to follow Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) as he returns home to beg forgiveness from Spud (Ewen Bremner).
Choose revenge, the poison coursing through the veins of reluctant publican Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller).
Choose seething rage, which drips from the tongue of psychotic jailbird Begbie (Robert Carlyle) as he finally glimpses life without bars.
Choose flashes of brilliance – a darkly humorous explosion of bodily fluids, a funding pitch that describes a sauna as “an artisanal bed and breakfast experience” – punctuated by cute visual nods to the first film.
Choose Spud as the trembling, emotional core, willing him to succeed.
Choose to accept the sinking realisation that the giddy high of the first time you watched Trainspotting – that breathless sprint down Princes Street to Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life – isn’t going to be replicated. Damon Smith
Actors Ewen Bremner, Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle attend the T2 Trainspotting world premiere in Edinburgh