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T2: Trainspotting Post-Release

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm still not entirely sure why they went for that title. Either way, everyone can relax because it's good.


There's actually a lot more of Porno in it than I expected. The central scam is different and generally of less importance, and the focus is split across the main four characters a lot more evenly than the book (which almost felt like a Sick Boy solo novel at times).


Porno is a lesser book but I'd say this adapted it about as well as the first film did, and where they diverge they often managed to avoid the weaker points and add depth.


The main criticism it's going to get is that it's very much a love letter to both the first film and the books, and it's not subtle about it. It gets a little cute with the winks at times, and towards the end it turns into an orgy of self-referentiality that comes close to breaking the fourth wall, until...

Warning: final shot spoiler! (Click to show)
...finally the fourth wall quite literally disappears and the film gets locked into an infinite feedback loop.

It's a film about itself.


But the characters are still great, the actors are still great, Danny Boyle dials his Danny Boyleness up to 11, and it tickled, repulsed, shocked, scared and moved me at various points. It is what it is with enormous gusto.

post #2 of 16


post #3 of 16
Thank Lucifer.
post #4 of 16

Yeah, just caught this. Left the cinema with a big grin on my face. Sick Boy's meta rant about "This isn't a memorial, this is nostalgia. It's a vacation through your youth" applies, but it's shot well, the performances are good and the soundtrack is pretty cool.


I thought the "Choose Life" segment was painfully shoe horned in, and could have been handled better... and Kelly McDonald was wasted... but overall it served as it's own film well enough and as a welcome return to the lives of these four reprobates.


And kudos for including the Trainspotting title explanation scene from the book that was not in the original film. Seeing it now, it fits more perfectly in this film than it would have in the original.

post #5 of 16

I'm very pleased to hear that it's good.  The first film is a minor miracle and I was genuinely afraid of how this sequel would turn out.

post #6 of 16
Originally Posted by flint View Post

I thought the "Choose Life" segment was painfully shoe horned in, and could have been handled better...

Yeah that sequence was clunky as hell.

I enjoyed this about as much as I hoped it would. It doesn't have anywhere near the punch the first one did, but what does? Like Paul said, it leans on the strength of the first to its detriment. Member when he got hit by the car? I member. The biggest emotional moment is just a callback to baby Dawn.

I also thought it went abit too broad at times. I certainly wouldn't say the first is grounded but Begbie's caper at the beginning bordered on cartoonish.

With all that said, I can't see many people being disappointed. It's a wonderfully made film that happens to be a sequel to a masterpiece. Considering most sequels that come decades later are wank it's a bit of a miracle.
post #7 of 16

Speaking of Begbie, is he still just as insane as he was in the first film?

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

I don't think Begbie fans will be disappointed. He's definitely played broad and borderline cartoony in a way that could easily have backfired, but IMO they get away with it because he is scary and funny, and it takes you into his background and psychology a bit more while they're at it. They even use him for a bit of timely 'working classes left behind' social commentary.


Now I've sat with it a couple of days I'm still pretty happy with it. I'm not sure the plot really stands up to scrutiny (

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Like, do Renton and Sick Boy owe the council £100,000 now? Wouldn't they be a little more upset about that? I also felt it maybe could've used an extra scene or two between the characters to wrap things up. Renton in particular's basically left in limbo at the end of the film

), but the more eye-rolley nostalgia doesn't really hurt it and a lot of the most memorable parts of it are new. I never got that sinking "oh... this isn't working, is it?" feeling you often get about 20 minutes into these kind of reunion films. In fact if Boyle wanted to do Skagboys and make it a trilogy, I think I'd be up for that.


Originally Posted by flint View Post

And kudos for including the Trainspotting title explanation scene from the book that was not in the original film. Seeing it now, it fits more perfectly in this film than it would have in the original.


This is the stuff I'm most interested to hear about from people who haven't read the books. 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The literal quoting of the books worked well enough for me because I got that "oh I see where they're going with this" penny drop moment, and they were quoting great bits. I've no idea how well that stuff plays for people who haven't read them, though.
I haven't read Porno in a while, I seem to remember Spud's story kind of hints at what they did in the film here, but was nowhere near as explicitly meta about it.

Edited by Paul C - 1/30/17 at 7:38am
post #9 of 16

Yeah, In Porno Spud writes a history of Leith - and it's nowhere near as well received as his meta-Welsh memoirs are in T2. I liked this version better, though. Spud's story in Porno ends up just becoming an exercise in being as relentlessly depressing as possible, to the point where it almost feels exploitative.


I'd agree that the 'choose life' speech landed with a bit of a clunk. For me it was down to it being very obviously - and clumsily - ADR'd in a way that detracted from the performance.


Overall though, I really dug the film. Funny that its broad moments have been raised in the thread, because it's a generally more somber affair than the first film (Which had its fair share of pantomime-y moments itself). Maybe it's because the overall tone of the film is quieter and more melancholy that the broad stuff sticks out, but I thought it tied in well with the film's leeriness towards nostalgia, while understanding its appeal. For me, it felt like the bits that most closely resemble the first film, especially the broader scenes, are meant to play slightly uncomfortably because it reflects the characters' slipping into old habits while knowing that they're now in different places. 

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Workyticket View Post

Spud's story in Porno ends up just becoming an exercise in being as relentlessly depressing as possible


There's one particularly repellent scene in Porno, I'm betting you'll know which one I'm thinking of, that for a moment I thought they were going to restage here in that scene with Spud, Begbie and the new girl. Probably for the they kept well away from that one.

post #11 of 16
This was nice. I liked it. I didn't laugh much, but really enjoyed the bittersweet melancholy of it all.

Hehehe, Sick Boy is actually more like Stink Eye in this movie.
post #12 of 16
I liked it, too. The updated "Choose Life" monologue is wonderful.

ETA: I guess Workyticket didn't think so.
post #13 of 16

ooooh, also!


this movie is filled to the brim with freeze-frames!


I was so happy!

post #14 of 16
In less than an hour. Pretty excited.
post #15 of 16
I'm excited for you.
post #16 of 16
Good movie. Morose and unresolved, which was interesting. It takes balls to effectively leave all of these characters out in the wilderness to come to terms with their age and their failures to find a sense of continuity in their lives. It really was like seeing old friends again, even cunts like Mikey Forrester, who I did not expect to see looking spiffy and running his own little criminal enterprise.

Is it as good as the original? No, of course not, but it's a worthy "state of affairs" follow-up and I'm so happy that Spud got to be the heart of it. Materially, he had less than any of them, but perhaps consequently, understood himself better than any of them.
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