T2 Trainspotting

*****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

T2 Trainspotting.
"A unique piece of cinema, superbly performed and dangerously directed"

Scene 1: the music punches you in the solar plexus. You go down.

Scene 2: Renton (Ewan McGregor) comes back to Edinburgh from his escape pad in Europe having stolen the stash of cash from their heroin deal at the end of T1 with bundles of notes in his pocket for the lads. To make amends?

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Scene 3: too late, pal. The others are wasted. Spud (Ewen Bremner) is an addict about to plastic bag himself. Begbie (Robert Carlyle) is banged up for murder. Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) is operating a scuzzy blackmail scam from a gunge gutted watering hole on the shite side of town using his Bulgarian bird (Anjela Nedyalkova) as bait.

Scene 4: there is nothing left to say because the film has engulfed you and toasted your critical genes on the fire of genius.

T2 comes from the heart of the dark of Danny Boyle's psyche, aided and abetted by John Hodge's feral script and Irvine Welsh's bog stained imagination. At a time when British filmmakers are learning the etiquette of costume drama and containing their ambition within the size and scope of television Boyle thunders past like a runaway train.

His style has rhythm beyond which the visuals, containing every trick in the book, ravishes the eye. The plot shatters into pieces, pulverised by violence and the nakedness of slo-mo. You cannot stop to question the relevance of this or the confusion of that. Like a rock opera the sound and action merge, creating a space for the howling beast of middle aged despair to rage against the torture of time. If failure is the flame, where lies hope?

"First there is an opportunity," the girl says. "And then there is betrayal."

Scene 5: that's it!

They talk of "a sequel" as if this is the purpose of what you are watching. Forget all that. What you are watching is ugly and dirty and sad and fearful. What you are watching is a unique piece of cinema, superbly performed and dangerously directed.

Reviewed on: 25 Jan 2017
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T2 Trainspotting packshot
Renton returns to Edinburgh after running off with the money to find the city changed and his mates in various degrees of rage and despair.
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Director: Danny Boyle

Writer: John Hodge, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, Anjela Nedyalkova, Kelly Macdonald, Shirley Henderson, James Cosmo

Year: 2017

Runtime: 117 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

Festivals:

BIFF 2017

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Trainspotting