T2 Trainspotting ★★★½

"Hollywood Come In, Your Time Is Up” was the memorable review quote from the iconic Trainspotting poster, which fought for wall space alongside Pulp Fiction’s in most teenager’s bedroom walls in the mid-1990s. Danny Boyle truly broke through with Trainspotting (1996), a few years after his well-received debut Shallow Grave (1994). The modern classic, about a group of young Scottish heroine addicts, based on author Irvine Welsh best-selling novel from 1993, arrived during a time when ‘Cool Britannia’ was still awaiting its crescendo. Maybe that was in 1997 after Tony Blair became Prime Minister and Spice World: The Movie debuted? I’m only half-joking.

A sequel to Trainspotting has been expected for a very long time, especially once author Welsh wrote follow-up novel Porno in 2002, but the falling out between Ewan McGregor and Danny Boyle (the latter reneged on a promise to cast him in The Beach) meant it never seemed likely to happen. Then, it was revealed that Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge weren’t huge fans of Porno, and even after star and director buried the hatchet it was Boyle’s belief the cast hadn’t aged “badly” enough for a story involving those same characters to feel plausible 20 years later. And to be fair, McGregor still hasn’t, which is briefly commented on during T2 Trainspotting.

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