Here it is; the sequel that everyone has been waiting for and much requested by our audience. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud, Sick Boy, and Begbie. Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance.
Reuniting the cast of Trainspotting for a new adventure 21 years on could have gone badly. But Boyle and his four musketeers give it just the right frantic, jaded energy and manic anxiety. He revives some of the stylistic tics which were ripped off by gangster Britflicks back in the day, but now the freezeframes are briefer, sharper; the movie itself refers back to the original with flashback versions of famous scenes, but also Super 8-type images of the boys’ poignant boyhood in primary school. The meaning of the title is made clear in a way that it wasn’t in the first film.
Perhaps you have to have seen the first film to like this one; to feel that you have grown older with its grisly protagonists. But it is weirdly moving when Renton is once again reunited with his laconic and dignified dad, a welcome cameo for James Cosmo, and then to go back into that boyhood bedroom which has been kept exactly as it was: a creepily well judged touch of fidelity to the past.
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