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T2: Trainspotting 2 review

“…Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life.”

In 1996, four degenerates pounded down Princes Street for Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Irvine Welshes iconic novel Trainspotting. For 21 years, we have been anxiously waiting for the sequel, as it could potentially tarnish a generation of pop culture and ruin its predecessor’s reputation.

Trainspotting was a novel not ultimately based on heroin, but defined mateship, arguments and stereotypes that existed in the 1990’s. With the publication of Welshes second novel Porno, it was rumored that a sequel would be sparked, and now, two decades later, here we have it.

Researchers have shown that 40% of visitors who come to the United Kingdom have done so after seeing a destination from a film or television. Initially I ignored that statistic, but after jumping on a train and spending a week in Glasgow and Edinburgh, I realized I was simultaneously living out my own fantasies from a lifetime of being influenced by pop culture. Although four drug addicts running around the grimmest areas of Scotland isn’t to be seen as a tourism showcase, it proves that even negative portraits can take on cult status.

T2: Trainspotting see’s the return of Mark Renton, who left his life of addiction to heroin for a life in Amsterdam, betraying his friends in the process after a drug deal in London. It doesn’t necessarily start where the first one finished, but instead exists in real time, letting us piece together what has happened in between. Director, Danny Boyle, manages to flex time throughout the film, pausing and jumpstarting constantly using the resources of the first Trainspotting. We gain an understanding of how time changes so much, but unfortunately in some ways more so than others, it does not, including the addiction to heroin.

As a spoiler free review, the film welcomes the return of the original actors, director, producer, screenwriter and novelist, meaning that the sequel is everything you could possibly imagine it to be. However, due to the prolonged timeframe, it does focus more on the development of characters and how technology is a massive player in the modern world, seen through the updated ‘Choose Life’ speech.

T2: Trainspotting and any other potential sequels will forever live in the shadow of the first, but in a sea full of sequels, this one floats above the wreckage.

Choose Life. Choose T2: Trainspotting.

T2: Trainspotting will be in Australian cinemas on February 23rd 2017.


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