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The return of Trainspotting – Steve Griffiths gives it a big thumbs up

The return of Trainspotting – Steve Griffiths gives it a big thumbs up

Last chance to see T2

Writer Steve Griffiths urges us to get up and sit our backsides down at Kino-Teatr.

The classic genre-defining film from 1996 is back. I saw the original in Greenwich Picturehouse and since then I’ve waited 21 years to see this sequel. It’s a good film alright, you will not be disappointed. But nothing will ever match the original for its impact and capturing the zeitgeist of the mid-90s.

Danny Boyle’s sheer verve in his direction really hits the spot. He has done it again with his trademark sharp editing, snappy dialogue and a crucial soundtrack. It’s as cool as the original but not quite the same pace; at two hours it’s mildly too long as the first one was 90 minutes and I think it worked very well in that timeframe. Ewan McGregor is excellent as Mark Renton, Ewen Bremner is brilliant as Spud and Robert Carlyle is awesome as the violent psychopath Begbie. Even Irvine Welsh makes another cameo. I met him at Hasting’s very own St Mary in the Castle last summer when he was doing a promotional tour for his new book. He said that Trainspotting is autobiographical and the main character, Mark Renton, is actually himself. He was living a ‘straight’ life with his family whilst working for local government in Edinburgh and he put his past behind him and was settled. Unfortunately for him, Acid House came along and he jumped into the scene with full intensity, exploring chemicals associated with the music. This is the timeframe for Trainspotting when he has to choose life or choose his old habit.

The film winds and weaves between the old and the new very well – I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen and was surprised and secretly pleased that there wasn’t a main theme of heroin addiction running through it. The cinema was silent and dumbstruck for the whole show so Danny Boyle was clearly doing something right. If you love the original you will be all over this like a rash. It lifts you up and gives you a sense of feeling in this world…

At the end of the credits there is a statement which simply says BE MOVED. The audience most certainly were. No one spoke throughout the entire film; no mobile phones were in use and everyone was mesmerised by the celluloid world in front of them.

Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see how this does at the Oscars. Regardless of awards, Trainspotting 2 is now in the very small group of films that can be classed as a good sequel, like Godfather 2. You can see Jaws 4, Rocky 5 or Fast and the Furious 6 without seeing the first one in the series. However, for Trainspotting 2, it is essential that you have seen the original 1996 classic. Don’t say I didn’t warn you it as it won’t make much sense otherwise…

The soundtrack includes Blondie – Dreaming, Jason Nevins v Run DMC – It’s Like That and The Clash – ‘(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais’. Love it to death.

Choose life. Choose this film.
9/10

If you haven’t seen it yet, T2 is on at Kino-Teatr at 2pm today (Friday 17 February) and at 7.30pm tomorrow (Saturday 18 February) and Thursday 23 February lunchtime showing, 2-for-1 price, plus an extra showing at 7.30pm.

Posted 12:20 Friday, Feb 17, 2017 In: Film

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