“T2: Trainspotting” is the sequel many fans have been waiting for

A staple of mid 90’s independent breakthrough cinema, Trainspotting has long been a movie that seemed poised to get a sequel. After all, author Irvine Welsh did write a sequel to his novel of the same name, that one called Porno. This week, the sequel does arrive, though this is with the slightly more multiplex friendly title of T2: Trainspotting. The film looks to recapture what people loved so much about the first one. Considering how long this next installment had been brewing before everyone signed on the dotted line, it would have to be in order to work. Luckily, that seems to be the case. Crisis averted!

This sequel is a return to the world initially presented to us in Trainspotting, obviously. After having spent 20 years abroad following his escape in the first one, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) makes a returns to Scotland. There, he reunites with his old friends and former heroin abusers Sick Boy aka Simon (Jonny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewen Bremner), and of course Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Some are happier to see him than others. Mark has embraced a very different life, but that’s not the case for everyone. The rest is better discovered for yourself, but suffice to say, it’s keeping with the tradition of the prior installment. Danny Boyle directs a script from John Hodge, loosely based on Welsh’s writing. The rest of the cast includes James Cosmo, Shirley Henderson, Kelly Macdonald, Anjela Nedyalkova, Eileen Nicholas, Welsh himself, and many more. Anthony Dod Mantle handles the cinematography. Having finally patched up their differences, Boyle and McGregor are back together again.

So far, reviews have been pretty solid, if not quite outright raves. While not quite on the level of Trainspotting, it appears as though T2: Trainspotting is widely considered a worthy sequel. It’s compelling to check back in on McGregor and company, as their characters were near iconic for a time. Plus, with Boyle having gone on to become a real A-list director, there’s something interesting to seeing him tackle this subject matter with a more cinematic eye. No one will consider this his masterpiece, but it’s far from a misfire. It took a long time to get this sequel, but they honored what came before them, which is what counts.

Trainspotting was nominated at the Oscars in Best Adapted Screenplay. Can T2: Trainspotting follow in its footsteps? Well, the odds aren’t in its favor, but an attempt might still be made. Campaigns in Best Picture, Best Director (for Boyle), Best Actor (for McGregor), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Hodge), Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing seem like the targets that will be made. Frankly, none of it seems particularly likely. Boyle has since become an Academy Award winner and Hodge was the original’s sole representation, so they’re at least no strangers to this. Time will tell, but I’m basically ready to count this one out here in the early days of March. We shall see though.

On Friday, audiences stateside can see what European audiences have already been privy to when T2: Trainspotting opens. It will likely please fans of the original, though it remains to be seen if newbies will flock to it or not. It probably isn’t going to be a blockbuster, but a solid box office run should be ahead for the indie flick. If you loved Trainspotting, there’s no reason not to give this one a shot. Plus, if you’re a Boyle or McGregor fan, that’s just an extra bit of icing on the proverbial cake. Take a look and see what you think of it…

Be sure to check out T2: Transpotting, in theaters everywhere this weekend!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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