It's very rare that a sequel to a film is made almost a decade and a half later, stapling itself as a worthy successor, bringing back everything you loved about the original movie. Yes, it's been done many times before, but it's always a risk. That being said, I had no worries about Danny Boyle bringing back Trainspotting for a sequel, because the original was a film that benefitted from the time period it was in, so I was very much looking forward to the evolution of these characters in today's day and age. Although I don't think this film quite matches what made the first one special, I think it comes very close in making itself relevant. Sadly, not too many people gave their money to the domestic box office, so I'm here to say that it's definitely worth your time if you're a fan of the first film and have been hesitating.
Worth Bringing Back
As mentioned above, I have to admit that the fans of the original should definitely look forward to viewing this sequel, but it's really only for those people. I personally think we're past the time of too many viewers discovering the original movie, unless they are die hard movie fans. That being said, let's dive into this wonderful sequel. Picking up 20 years after the events of the original, we see where each of these men ended up and (without spoiling anything) who still holds a grudge. Once again, this film explores the depths of friendship and life itself. Society has changed since the first film and this movie isn't afraid to showcase the good and the bad. For these reasons, it was definitely worth bringing back to the screen.
For Better Or Worse
Whether or not you wish to see more of certain characters, Ewan McGregor's portrayal of Renton/Mark and Jonny Lee Miller's portrayal of Simon. These two are reunited and become the central focus of the film, allowing other plot details to blossoms throughout. T2 Trainspotting is a far superior film in terms of displaying what the world is like and how technology is consuming us on a daily basis, which is not something that the first film could benefit from, so that was an improvement in my opinion. Where the film didn't quite live up to its predecessor, was in the simplistic story area. The original was all about drug use and the falling out of friendships by the end of the film. This film tries to wrap up too many loose ends, ultimately becoming slightly convoluted, albeit very effective at the same time.
While the first film was incredible in terms of cinematography and visual storytelling, T2 Trainspotting improves tenfold in that department. From visually showing what a character is doing in a different light, to displaying the division of a friendship in a damn bathroom stall, to the fantastic camera movements getting you inside the minds of these characters, I found myself profoundly entranced by this movie. Although I enjoyed the premise of the first one more than this instalment, I found this sequel to be an improvement in almost every other way. I didn't expect to say this about such an offbeat movie like a sequel to Trainspotting, but this is a beautiful movie to look at.
My Overall Thoughts
In the end, director Danny Boyle has crafted yet another very well-made film. It may not reach the heights of its predecessor in terms of storytelling, but it's visually stunning in every conceivable way. T2 Trainspotting is a sequel nobody really needed, but we should be lucky to have gotten. I can definitely recommend this movie to fans of the first film, but it's not accessible to newcomers. There are themes that newcomers can relate to, but the film as a whole just won't attract those who haven't seen the first portion of the story from 13 years ago. With a great soundtrack, fantastic direction, a very devoted cast, and a satisfying conclusion, this is a film that was well worth making. It's a little slow at times and I didn't always find myself invested in everyone's motivations, but it's still a great movie nonetheless.