T2 Trainspotting [Blu-ray]
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First there was an opportunity......then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). 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.
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Was it worth the wait?
In my opinion, oh yes. Screenwriter John Hodge has taken a few aspects of "Porno" and crafted them into a worthy sequel. Renton, Sick Boy (now "Simon"), Spud, and the psychopathic Begbie are all back, and it feels great to see them again. For fans of the original, watching "T2:Trainspotting" really is like catching up with old friends. Without spoiling the movie's plot, our four protagonists (plus some of the other characters from the first film) are back, and on a collision course with one another that can only end violently. Having ripped off Sick Boy and Begbie at the end of the first film, Ewan McGregor's Renton is back from Amsterdam and ready to fall back in with his old crowd. At the same time, Begbie escapes from prison, and when he learns that Renton is back in town, sets out for vengeance. Waiting for the characters to fulfill their story arcs will keep you on the edge of your seat. Accompanied by a thumping good soundtrack (though not quite the classic that the first movie's soundtrack was) "T2:Trainspotting" is a rollicking good time for fans of the original. In terms of the Blu-Ray release, sound and picture quality are great. The extras are a little bare-bones, with only a 30-minute "conversation with the actors/director" and commentary track in addition to the movie; it would be nice to see a fully-loaded edition somewhere further down the line. That's a minor quibble, though, and if you remember "Trainspotting" fondly, this one is well worth picking up, throwing in the Blu-Ray player, and catching up with the lovable scumbags.
Trainspotting 2, however, does not deliver as a great moment for a variety of reasons. We're all older and more mature, our lives and circumstances have changed quite a bit. Like the characters in the movie (which if you have read the books, please keep in mind these characters have been softened up quite a bit to make them into likeable people, which they were anything but in the books), the four main characters - Mark Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie, are all different people now, like the audience most excited about it. Mark has returned to the UK after twenty years living away in Amsterdam managing a gym to his hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland after running off with the money from their drug deal, a failed marriage and a heart attack scare. His old friends are still there. Begbie is in prison, Sick Boy manages a bar and runs his shady sex/drug scams, and Spud is still deep in the addiction after his own failed relationships. He, Spud and Sick Boy mend their fences, Begbie escapes from prison and reunites with his estranged wife and son. Mark and Sick Boy join forces once again in crime, inevitably Begbie and Mark cross paths again by accident in the bathroom of a nightclub, and a chase ensues. Many things are reenactments of the defining scenes in the first movie (Mark being chased down the street and bumping into a car to laugh at it, for example).
The end? I will not reveal the spoiler ending, but it's a bit on the anti-climactic side. This movie was a blending of the first Trainspotting book and the sequel, Porno. What does it tell us? What I said before: We're older, wiser and just as screwed up as we were before. Middle aged angst is just like it was in our twenties, but we're wiser and have calmed down quite a bit. Can we go home again? Can we relive those glory days still? The answer is no. Because you change, the people around you change, the places you go to for entertainments change. The things that are important to you when you're twenty are not the same things that are important to you when you're forty. It's good to have closure.