Opinion: Trainspotting 2

T2: Trainspotting or simply Trainspotting 2¸ is the sequel to the 1996 critically acclaimed drug-drama Trainspotting, in which Mark Renton, played by Ewan McGregor, goes back to Scotland to revisit his old friends.

Not only Renton went back, so did Danny Boyle go back to his directing chair. Boyle’s directing was also the height if this film. His style matched the theme the film was going for and it’s nothing you’ll see today. It was exactly same as in the first film and was fun to see it play out in our modern-day-time. Not a lot of directors would direct their film like this one, just because it’s different, but different can be refreshing as well. He didn’t totally stick to the style of the first one. He also used some techniques he has recently developed, like using a beamer to tell a story. It was very creative and created some very good looking shots. This was also well integrated into the story and didn’t feel forced. Danny Boyle also used this technique in Steve Jobs.
But Boyle was creative in numerous manners. He also interwove scenes from the first movie with this one and recreated shots. The color pallet also differed from the original, but I like the clean look it gave the film. There were some interesting, but good-looking angles as well.

The acting was good too but didn’t really hit the notes I was hoping for. It felt like they weren’t really able to indulge themselves in the characters as much as they were able to twenty years ago. Nonetheless was their acting good, just not as good as I was hoping for. Begie, played by Robert Carlyle, was the most enjoyable to watch out of the whole ensemble. You could also really see that the cast was enjoying what they were doing, which really translated to the screen. Their characters were lesser well written as in the first film and the reason of that is also the biggest problem of this film.

What once was the height of the first film now is the nadir of this one: the screenplay. I was expecting a lot of this aspect of the film but ended up quite disappointed in the end. The story was messy and went all over the place, without any real focus on certain mv5bmtu2nta0ndm0mf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdmzmtqzmti-_v1_sy1000_cr006661000_al_1aspects. The story was even that messy that they forgot a whole side-story, which I believe probably only was there to reintroduce a character from the first film. It was fun seeing that character back again after twenty years, but it would’ve been more fun if they integrated that character into the film in a good manner and not in the one they did now. The dialogue was dull at times and lacked any real depth, which wasn’t the case with the original. In that one there was enough satire, jokes, but also the needed seriousness, which was really lacking in Trainspotting 2.
The film also builds a lot on the last film, by using the nostalgia-factor. There were multiple references to the first one, which was fun to see, but the film builds too much on it, whereby I’m not really sure if it can stand fine on its own.  I didn’t know you could make something over-nostalgic, but somehow they sort of managed to do it.

In the end, Trainspotting 2, was an OK film. I was expecting more out of it, because the first film has quickly become one of my favorites, and also because I am a fan of the books. The screenplay was not the greatest, but the directing and acting really saved the film. That’s why this one gets a B- from me.

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