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Nerdlocker Movie Review: T2 Trainspotting

21 years ago, Danny Boyle’s second feature film, Trainspotting, became an instant cult classic. The British movie featuring a group of heroine addicts in Edinburgh (Scotland) brought Boyle international acclaim and proved that his first film, Shallow Grave, wasn’t a fluke. It had a breakthrough role for Ewan McGregor who would go on to play Obi-Wan just a few years later.

I wasn’t exactly itching for another dose of ‘Rent Boy’ (Ewan McGregor), ‘Sick Boy’ (Jonny Lee Miller) ‘Franco’ (Robert Carlyle), and ‘Spud’ (Ewen Bremner) until I rewatched the original and was reminded of its ending, in which (SPOILER ALERT) Rent Boy dicks over his friends and splits with their cash (£16,000, £4000 of which he leaves for Spud), vowing to stop using and live life on the straight and narrow.

T2 Trainspotting catches up with the old gang 20 years down the road, and while most folks weren’t really jonesing for it, it’s a fun and sometimes poignant relapse. All of the characters are still alive (hard to believe). Rent Boy’s clean, Spud’s struggling with H, Sick Boy’s switched to coke, and Franco’s serving a long prison bid on account of his violent temper. They’re all battling their own demons and when Rent Boy returns to town it fans the flames on old emotions.

The movie has a decent script that remains true to the characters and Boyle boils a fix that mixes the grimy, disgusting, heroin-filth aesthetic of the original, with more modern stylistic quirks he’s implemented in recent films (like the phenomenal Steve Jobs). The soundtrack is electric, and it features an eclectic mix of songs which appropriately set the tone. The movie never reaches the highs (or lows) of the first one, but unlike so many modern sequels it never feels like a cash grab or waste of time.

About that title… Why call it T2 when people have unofficially referred to Terminator 2: Judgement Day as T2 for years? Boyle explains: “I always thought that if these characters were asked to do a sequel they would agree reluctantly and say ‘all right but you have got to call it T2 so that you can annoy James Cameron (director of Terminator 2).’” Alrighty then, seems appropriate.

3.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls

T2 is now playing in Houston and other select cities.

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Check out the Critics Circle on Radio Brave, the Houston Film Critics Society’s weekly program.



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Salty Winters once said, "Everything I learned I learned from the movies." He was quoting Audrey Hepburn.