Here’s the recent trend of long-awaited non-animated sequels. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is the best because of its hilarious portrayal of Will Ferrell in the 1980s and its A-list cameo list. Others however have failed. “Dumb and Dumber To” was too stupid to be brilliant; “Zoolander 2” was too weird to be funny; “Independence Day: Resurgence” was too generic and boring to be entertaining; and “Bad Santa 2” was too sexed out to be up to its original potential. Now, we have “T2 Trainspotting,” directed once more by Danny Boyle, and only 20-years-old. It’s marginally better than those films, but still, the first one was better.
The reunited cast includes Ewan McGregor as Mark Renton, who returns home to Scotland from Amsterdam; Ewan Bremner as Spud, who is trying to get off heroin; Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy, who serves as a pub landlord and a blackmailer; and Robert Carlyle as Franco, the violent nut, who is serving a prison sentence, and is denied parole.
Spud tries to kill himself, but is saved by Mark. In a prison escape plan, Franco gets injured and is taken to the hospital, where he manages to injure a doctor, and walk out. “Trainspotting” fans may recall Mark stealing his friends’ money at the end, leaving Spud 4000 pounds. At one point Sick Boy engages in a pub fight with him, and later, Franco wants revenge.
Like the original, I didn’t always understand the dialogue. In certain aspects (not to sound discriminating), but British or Scottish dialogue can leave me in a bit of a tizzy. Most times, I understand, other times I have to rely on images or the internet to tell me. But that’s my own problem, not the fans’. And like the original, the movie promises bizarre and fascinating images, including a sequence with characters having animated faces, and the suicide attempt scene when Spud is suffocating, and, in fantasy, falls from his apartment building. Boyle’s direction is once more pulsating, and the music helps represent those scenes with the right intentions.
I gave the first “Trainspotting” four smiley faces for its fascinating and interesting portrayal of heroin addicts and some of their attempts to go clean, as well as the performances from McGregor, Bremner, Carlyle, and Miller. Here, they continue to amaze me with their acting and antics, but I felt too much was going on for me to completely get the full story. It involves small romances, identity theft, sons not following in their fathers’ footsteps, dancing, running, and future divorces. The movie also reunites Kelly MacDonald as Diane, the former 15-year-old, who ends up becoming an attorney. A joke I liked from her is telling Mark a young woman is too young for him, but she is given any payoff. There’s a lot of ambition in “T2 Trainspotting,” but for me, it was more or less the same.