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Time won't let "T2 Trainspotting" characters move on

TriStar Pictures
Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy) and Ewan McGregor (Renton) reprise their roles in the just-released "T2 Trainspotting."
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Delayed sequels that take over a decade are rarely, if ever, good. For every acclaimed sequel ala Mad Max: Fury Road, we get unnecessary and critically panned additions to Dumb & Dumber, Anchorman and Zoolander.

Lazy retellings of the original films with none of the unhampered energy that made the first go-around worth visiting.

T2 Trainspotting doesn’t pretend that the events in the first film didn’t happen or become an inevitable retract of the original with a bigger budget.

Familiarity is still prevalent. Renton (Ewan McGregor) is running from his addiction, literally and figuratively. Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) is still a sloppy con man. Spud (Ewen Bremner) is unfortunately still addicted to heroin. Begbie (Robert Carlyle) continues to invoke anyone along his path.

These are unequivocally the same characters, just in completely different stages in their lives.

Renton returns to the Scottish city of Edinburgh to confront his past mistakes that still haunt him.

Since being heroin free since the events of the original film and taking up a habit of exercising, he feels the most normal between an ex-convict, a cocaine user, and a habitual heroin user.

After Renton and Sick Boy catch up after a pool hall fight (naturally), they get involved with petty crimes with Sick Boy’s prostitute girlfriend, who is trying to turn their inherited bar into a brothel — all while trying to keep Spud’s head on straight and avoiding Begbie’s return at all costs.

It equally allocates the runtime to all four characters appropriately. Giving them each room to fully develop. No plotline takes priority over another. That being said, Jonny Lee Miller absolutely stole the show. His character is given much more to explore in the sequel and his chemistry with McGregor has only gotten better.

Director Danny Boyle serves up a more compelling story than just being a screenshot of four knucklehead drug users. It packs an emotional depth that the original lacked because it didn’t necessarily need. Emotions were hard to explore in four heroin addicts when addiction trumped real human connection altogether.

T2 Trainspotting actually makes the 1996 culture defining film better. That’s rare. It’s better than the predecessor in every technical facet. Danny Boyle has grown to become a more compelling storyteller. Long-time collaborator, cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, brings forth their most beautiful looking film to date.

“Choose life” was a sarcastic phrase prior used by the characters while nodding out from heroin. It’s used now almost as a warning. A last-ditch effort to find something worthwhile in their lives. All are still addicts of life’s vices. Living on the outskirts of normality, discovering that the world left them behind a long time ago.

They swim in nostalgia to bury the subconscious horrors of becoming prisoners and tourists of their own youth.

Twenty years ago, these characters didn’t care about time and now time doesn’t care about them.

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About the Author

Kevin Tudor

Born and raised in the mean streets of Yukon, Oklahoma, Kevin is currently majoring in...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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