T2 Trainspotting18¦ Blu-ray, DVD
Nostalgia is shit. Think about it. Reminiscing about something you vaguely remember being sort of worth remembering. However, nine times out of ten it wasn't worth recalling in the first place. Like crisps with the blue sachet of salt in, or the eighties.
In 1996 director Danny Boyle released Trainspotting into the world. Based on the book by Irvine Welsh of the same name, it followed the exploits of a bunch of young druggies in Edinburgh. It was downright gritty and yet curiously hip to boot. This was mostly down to the larger than life characters portrayed and a stonking soundtrack.
It became one of those gems that made the jump from cult classic to mainstream classic.
Afterwards many involved - although not all - went on to bigger and better things. Twenty years on this surprising reunion, featuring all the main protagonists, came chugging down the track.
Renton (Ewan McGregor) has spent the last 20 years away from his home town, living in Amsterdam. Probably not the best place to live for a recovering drug addict, but there you go. With his life not being all it's cracked up to be, he decides to return to Edinburgh.
He's not back long before he catches up with some of the old gang - Spud (Ewan Bremner) and Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller). Thankfully Begbie (Robert Carlyle) is in prison, which makes his return a little easier. However, there's still resentment in the air for the fact he stole their share of a drug deal they made in London 20 years ago.
The mood changes dramatically however, when Begbie manages to 'remove' himself from prison and hears that Renton is back in town.
You can't blame Boyle for wanting to get the gang back together again, especially as it looked like it was never going to happen after falling out with McGregor; he thought he was a shoe-in for Boyle's The Beach but the director chose to give the lead to Leonardo DiCaprio instead. Ouch.
With water and bridges and what not, the two finally made peace for what looked like a good idea, on paper at least. The curiosity of what happened to these Scottish scallywags however, loses its impact twenty years on.
The characters weren't terribly likeable in the original, but they had a youthful exuberance and urban charm about them that carried them through. The years haven't been kind to them however, and they are all still not very likeable - except perhaps Bremner's Spud - which makes it difficult to actually care about their current predicaments.
The added storyline of Sick Boy's girlfriend Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) just feels like it was tagged on to introduce a new element, which doesn't actually work.
Yes the soundtrack is perky and toe-tapping, but not a patch on the original.
Despite its good intentions, this sequel has watered down the intensity of the original and proven that we really could have done without this re-visit.
Even though the first film is now twenty years old, it stands the test of time remarkably well. It's doubtful that the same will be said about this one any time soon.