It's been twenty years since we last visited Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and Spud (Ewan Bremner) in their grimy Edinburgh underworld. In the sequel, Renton, who has been living in Amsterdam since the events of the first film, heads back home, seemingly to reconnect with his past and his old friends. Unsurprisingly, he finds that not everyone is pleased to see him, and some bare resentment towards him.
This is a sequel that really feels relevant, and not just an out of the blue cash-grab like some follow ups. Nostalgia, not addiction, is the central theme and if you liked the first film chances are you will love this sequel.
The film's great strength lies in the chemistry between the four characters. This really feels like a reunion of old friends, such is the believability of their performances. From the very start we are reminded why we care so much for these people, and why this is a sequel worth watching. Especially moving is how the passing of time is portrayed on screen. So much has changed for every character, and yet almost none of it has been for the better; these are real people with real problems. Although there is humour, sadness is at the forefront, with a trip to remember their lost friend Tommy proving especially moving.
Danny Boyle's film does have its own faults. Missing is Ewan McGregor's hilarious yet touching voiceover, one of my favourite things about the 1996 original. Although the formula here is largely unchanged, this is still a great watch. The use of music is exhilarating, and the screenplay is as poignant as you could hope for. All in all, this is a fine addition to the story of Renton and co., and cements director Danny Boyle's place as a giant of British cinema.
You can book your tickets for the upcoming screenings for T2: Trainspotting here.