The following blog post was written by Patrick, from The Blog from Another World, as the second part of our second collaborative series and again, the focus seems to have been on trains! You can read our previous posts, talking Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting here, and about Paula Hawkin’s The Girl On The Train, here and here.
I love Danny Boyle and I love Trainspotting. When T2 was announced, I was worried that the film would be a cash grab, a lazy retread. Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon had already disappointed me with Jason Bourne (2016), which was an ill-thought through bore. However, after watching Trainspotting again for my article with ReadandReview2016, the stakes were raised very high. Impossibly high?
No. Not at all. Danny Boyle is the finest British filmmaker in modern cinema. There is no doubt in my mind about this. T2 is fantastic. Possibly even better than the first.
Boyle performs camera moves, positions and set pieces which are truly thrilling. He and his director of photography Anthony Dodd Mantle work with light and shadow and perspective to create meaning.
He’s a director who inspires me and this might just be the biggest risk of his career. He pulls it off and shows a maturity and an evolution of film-making style which makes us understand just how much experience and persistence matters. In preparation for watching T2 I watched A Life Less Ordinary, the Boyle directed film which came after Trainspotting and before The Beach. The film is a flawed and underwhelming work despite a career best performance by Cameron Diaz.
My reason for watching A Life Less Ordinary was to remind myself of Boyle on a bad day (but even his low point is better than many director’s best). Slumdog Millionaire and Steve Jobs are big favourites of mine but T2 takes his best work and betters it. It’s funny, sad, euphoric, tragic and utterly brilliant.
The story of T2 follows Renton, Sick Boy (now Simon), Begbie and Spud as they deal with the modern world twenty years after the events of the first film.
This film is a wonderful look at ageing, our modern world and the responsibilities of adulthood. The characters feel deeper and emotionally richer although some plot strands don’t go anywhere and seem added in for nostalgia’s sake (the re-appearance of heroin is pointless).
The four leads are superb. Ewan McGregor is the best he’s been since the original film, Robert Carlyle has aged Begbie in the most perfect way and Ewan Bremner is the heart of the film. Only Jonny Lee Miller isn’t stretched, with Sick Boy always being a secondary character.
This film has a rollicking pace and heaps of style. It captures the spirit of the original whilst moving in an entirely new direction, away from drugs and toward some kind of recognition. For the first time, Renton is forced to face the consequences of his actions and it’s an explosive moment. I personally loved this scene (not a spoiler) which captures the hard edged but joyful tone of the original and is a perfect storm of music, action, comedy and character.
This film is the best thing I’ve seen all year. It would take a lot to top this, and I can’t wait!
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please give it a ‘Like’. . Thanks to Patrick for writing this film review. You can find his other film reviews here: