Looking Back at 2010s Films: T2 Trainspotting (2017)

1 Oct

Image result for t2 trainspotting

By Tanner Smith

Continuing my series of posts about 2010s films I really like…”T2: Trainspotting”……there is only ONE T2 in my life (Terminator 2), so I am NOT referring to the “Trainspotting” sequel as “T2”!!

Though, I can see why they didn’t give it the title of the book this film was based on (“Porno”).

Anyway, TRAINSPOTTING 2 (as I’m calling it) catches up with the characters of “Trainspotting” 20 years later. I always like this idea of revisiting characters years later (…when it’s done right).

This one explores the long-term consequences of the junkie “Trainspotting” characters, after one of them sold the others out at the end of the original film. Now it’s two decades later, and we see that they’re older but not necessarily wiser. Renton (Ewan McGregor) has been living straight as an accountant in Amsterdam; the manic Sick Boy (now known by his legal name Simon) (Jonny Lee Miller) runs a pub and performs petty deeds on the side; the psychotic, dangerous lover of arguably the most offensive word in the English language (you know the one) Begbie (Robert Carlyle) has been in prison all this time; and Spud (Ewen Bremner) is still struggling with hardcore addiction to the point of attempting suicide.

Renton comes back to his hometown, where he’s ready to face his old friends again and own up to the mistakes he’s made in the past. But his old friends are just as messed up as they were before. One of the most tragically telling moments of this sequel is when he prevents Spud’s suicide attempt and cries that he tried to help him by leaving $4,000 to him (and leaving none of the money from the score for Sick Boy and Begbie)–Spud has to remind Renton that he’s a junkie and that money wasn’t going to be around for long.

Oh, and Begbie’s escaped from prison. One of the funniest sequences in the film is when he learns Renton has returned and so he’s determined to chase him down and kill him. (Maybe this IS supposed to remind me of “Terminator 2”–Begbie’s starting to remind me of T-1000.)

There are a lot of callbacks to the original “Trainspotting,” as characters continuously look back on the “good old days.” Sometimes, it’s to remind themselves of how good they felt, not realizing how pathetic those times were. Other times, it’s to go right for the throat during an argument–remember the ill fate of the baby that was apparently Sick Boy’s daughter? Yeah, Renton reminds Simon of that! (Harsh.) And of course, the “Choose Life” monologue comes back into play, with some adjustments–that scene was the one that made it clear that “Trainspotting 2” is part-nostalgic, part-moving-ahead…

Just like the characters.

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