Trainspotting has become a cult classic since its release 20 years ago, steadily gaining loyal fans and appreciation for its beautiful madness. For the ones who have loved it all along, a sequel is something they’ve been waiting forever for and it is now finally here. Did Trainspotting 2 live up to the original?
One of the greatest things about this sequel is that a majority of the people who worked on Trainspotting came back for the film, including director Danny Boyle as well as co-writers John Hodge and Irvine Welsh. They also brought along the original cast members Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Shirley Henderson, Kelly Macdonald and more.
The story continues 20 years after the original. Mark Renton (McGregor) returns to Scotland and attempts to reunite with his long lost buddies Sick Boy (Miller), Spud (Bremner), and Begbie (Carlyle) that he double-crossed all those years ago. Will they be able to let bygones be bygones and move on with their lives or will their past still haunt them?
Trainspotting 2 is the ultimate sequel that everyone hopes for when a new chapter is being made to their beloved film. Everything was executed beautifully, from the way they reunited old friends after 20 long years, to the new struggles they are all going through, and to how they each faced the painful truth of how doing drugs impacted their lives. It was a joy to watch the extended story and see familiar faces we’ve missed so much with nostalgic flashbacks and awesome soundtrack.
Let’s begin with the story. The transition from the original is well done despite the twenty-year difference and flows perfectly without any bumps in the road. Although it had its funny moments, this one is far darker than the original and dives deep into the background of the characters and their dark moments of their past, including facing up to the truth of why some of the people they loved died and what they could have done to stop it from happening.
I absolutely loved that they brought all the characters back, seeing them again is enough reason to watch this film in itself. Although a lot had changed around them (technology, new loves, new home)… they really hadn’t changed themselves. They were the same old fuckups they always had been but in different ways. The chemistry between McGregor and Miller is one of the best relationships I’ve ever seen on film and you can see it even more in the sequel. There’s a part in the film where one of the female stars, Veronica (Anjela Nedyalkova) says, “You’re so in love with each other that it makes me uncomfortable to be in your presence.” Completely accurate. I also can’t forget to mention the lovely Bremner, who is always delightfully entertaining. I loved what they did with his character development throughout the film as he struggles his drug addiction and tries to become a better person through an unlikely hobby that becomes a huge outlet for him.
Beyond all this, the soundtrack is just as great as the original’s. It includes some of the same artists, such as Iggy Pop and Underworld, but has many new additions, including Wolfe Alice, Young Fathers, Fat White Family, and more.
Overall, it was a great sequel that wrapped up a story of old friends coming together, dealing with loss and learning how to live again. Plus, the end is something you won’t want to miss! It felt like the cast and crew truly had a great time making Trainspotting 2 and I think their love for the story helped light a special spark throughout the film that connected the audience even more. Watch it when you can, you won’t be disappointed!