Making a sequel decades after an initial installment is fraught with peril. Attempting to re-capture what was so popular at a given moment runs the risk of simply re-hashing what came before. Films such as ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ and ‘Zoolander 2’ have discovered this out at their cost. ‘T2: Trainspotting’ successfully manages to avoid this trap. A worthy continuation rather than remake, it grasps the original’s flavour whilst making a new one. With the original cast and director returning, it proves sequels can be relevant if crafted with care and intelligence.
Twenty years after stealing the proceeds of a heist from his friends, Mark (Ewan McGregor) returns to face the music. Finally back on home soil, he reunites with his former allies Spud (Ewen Bremmer), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlye). Old grievances and regrets surface as the quartet grapple with past actions. New allegiances are forged as they look toward an uncertain future.
Director Danny Boyle’s track record speaks for itself in telling compelling stories. The years since the first ‘Trainspotting’ have seen him conjure diverse movies like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and zombie flick ’28 Days Later’. ‘T2: Trainspotting’ sees his talents in full display. Backed by an ensemble effortlessly slipping back into their famous roles, Boyle successfully charts a story about shattered friendships and family ties. Re-connecting and accepting the past are things the characters must do in order to fully move on.
Whilst full of creative energy marking the first instalment, ‘T2: Trainspotting’ occasionally meanders. The loss of narrative focus decreases the level of urgency the script tries to convey. On its own merits, it’s still a solid movie with genuine emotional depth. Boyle remembers to not craft a ‘greatest hits’ of memorable scenes but makes new ones fully utilising the talents of all involved. The pulsating soundtrack and quirky moments are still in place with the strong performances smoothing over any slow sections.
‘T2: Trainspotting’ manages to easily walk the tight-rope of nostalgia. Maybe not as instantly captivating as its forebear, its’ ageing protagonists ring true with their actions. Good sequels take time to develop with the overall attention to its screenplay hopefully inspiring others will take note.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.