T2 Trainspotting review: very watchable 21 year reunion

Ewan McGregor as Mark Renton and Jonny Lee Miller as Simon in T2 Trainspotting.
Ewan McGregor as Mark Renton and Jonny Lee Miller as Simon in T2 Trainspotting.

WANT to feel old?

As if listicles and memes didn’t remind us often enough that 1996 was more than 20 years ago with its forgotten pop culture references to make us feel ancient, director Danny Boyle reunites his Trainspotting cast for a belated sequel.

Twenty-one years after stealing cash from his mates to embark on a drug and alcohol-free path, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to his hometown Edinburgh after a health scare.

Violent Francis “Franco” Begbie’s (Robert Carlyle) parole has been denied, Daniel “Spud” Murphy (Ewen Bremner) is suicidal and Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson (Jonny Lee Miller) is blackmailing people with the help of Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova), who films their victims in compromising positions.

It seems Renton is the only one who has moved on because his return ruffles some feathers – his betrayal, absence and the resulting lack of closure are like festering wounds for the gang he left behind.

When Franco escapes from jail and finds out Renton is in town, he vows to kill him while trying to recruit his teenage son to be his house-burgling sidekick.

T2 points out it has been 20 years since these guys were last together; a long time, to be fair, but it is more than just for nostalgia’s sake and a stroll down memory lane.

Boyle knows there has to be more than just coasting on nostalgic value by exploring characters who cannot let go of the past and those that try.

There are the signature cringe-worthy moments (though none top those in the original, which are still under the skin) and Boyle’s energy has not ebbed in the past couple of decades, making for a very watchable reunion.THE ESSENTIALS

T2 Trainspotting ( R )

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas now