Twenty years on, Mark Renton returns to the only place that he can ever call home. There waiting for him are old buddies Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie. Sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, love, fear, regret, self-destruction and mortal danger are also all lined up and ready to welcome him.
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By placing the emphasis on lost time, the film becomes less about plot & more about a changing world. The characters, the city, even the culture itself, create a stark contrast to the earlier work; enriching the original while also suggesting something on disillusionment, even failure. The artifice of Boyle's stylisation seems to exaggerate how disconnected the characters are from this world & their place within it.
In a way, it's a crying shame this movie had to have a plot. The first 30 minutes are such a sensitive, character-driven look at time gone by—particularly considering how the original was always such a youth movie—that when the plot contorts itself to throw its anti-heroes back into hijinks, it becomes a mess of awkward tones. When it starts playing the hits, it feels cheap. When it goes for guffaws, it's even worse.
A worthwhile experiment, but an unholy mess. It could never hope to capture (or create) the zeitgeist in the same way as the original, but despite a solid story, it also lacks that fizzy dialogue and wealth of Great Moments that might have been expected. TV movie-grade digital photography, atrocious ADR and a frankly terrible score mean this has more in common with Boyle's own 'Trance' than it does 'Trainspotting'.
2,8. Of course it's not as good as the original. That task was almost impossible so I'm not surprised. What really bothered me was how they chose this happier and "everything will be OK" filter instead of the gritty, realistic look from the first movie. And the soundtrack is a disgrace.
A star rating does not do justice to how much I enjoyed how Danny Boyle respects the intelligence of the fans by continuing where they left off in a believable fashion. It was only afterwards that I wish the story had included more or had new characters but maybe that was the point. It was certainly
Worth seeing just for McGregor's brilliant revamped "choose life" monologue.
This is more than just a mere sequel, this is a testament to getting old, knowing your limits, and realizing that all you've really got in this world is your friends and sometimes that's all you need, even if you can't really stand them or spend most of your time trying to screw them over. Boyle brings the vast world that Irvine Welsh created to vivid life yet again.
Broke my soul in half. Can't even say anything consistent. Meant too too much to me. This is the film that ends young lads and Youth. Wee Fergus-> Grown-up Fergus. Dream(s) killer(s). In two years time, every 90s year will be at a minimum distance of 20 years (almost a generation away). That has a particular significance to the children of the 80s, now in their late 20s/early 30s and see their years growing shorter ∇