Tuesday, 31 January 2017


The brazen, boisterous impulsivity of youth comes crawling back to the screen, wearied by age if not maturity. What lust for life remains may only be a lust for a life long since lived, the heady intensity of its highs and lows now supplanted by poignancy and regret for them. T2 Trainspotting arrives bang on time, the distance between it and its predecessor sufficient to meaningfully distinguish between the two - this film and 1996's Trainspotting exist in genuinely different times, and have genuinely different comments to make. There's perverse joy to be wrought out of a nostalgia trip into past perverse joys, though as organic as these sensations might be, and as faithfully depicted, they're inescapably muted. The real, substantial joys of T2 are in the perpetuation of that same energy that engendered those of old, and it's thus that the eternal innovator, Danny Boyle, spins a success out of a conceptually suspect sequel. He seeks to engender new highs and lows from cloth sourced from past, present and the furthest, dankest corners of warped imagination. There are overt nods to that nostalgia, though T2 goes through nostalgia altogether and out the other end, but everything about this film is overt, including the sheer, simple entertainment value it near-constantly insists on supplying. Boyle has always been an audience-attentive filmmaker, and always at his best when he has put their interests first. As ever before, this ramshackle construction falls apart so swiftly when provoked by plot necessity, and director and writer John Hodge alike yet again prove themselves apparently incapable of resolving any particular plot with any particular skill. But they've done the right work in the right places otherwise, and T2 is thus an exemplary follow-up to a bona fide classic, against all the odds.