T2 Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 2017)

What's it about? Set 20 years after the events of Trainspotting, we find out what has happened to Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewen Bremner) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle).

Is it any good? Well, sort of. Trainspotting was such a film of its time, an essential ingredient of 90s pop culture, that any sort of retread was always going to feel a bit like living on past glories. That idea of time moving on is at the heart of the sequel's narrative, as all the characters struggle to come to terms with the fact they are now middle-aged, with regrets about the lives they have lived and mistakes they have made. But although it sets out as an older, wiser type of film, it also can't resist re-living the greatest hits of the original. But what was energetic, funny and cool first time round comes across as rather forced now. Whereas the 'Choose Life' speech in the original spoke for a generation, here a similar speech is unconvincing and stilted. Similarly, scenes of drug-taking, clubbing, fighting and stealing fail to make the same impact as they did 20 years ago. Perhaps that is the point - you can try and recapture your lost youth, but it'll never quite be the same again. However,  in between the rehashes of those scenes from the original, and admittedly because of some of them, it does occasionally capture the sadness at the inevitability of growing older. In these quieter moments, it's at its most effective, and it would have been nice to see this aspect focused on a bit more. Because as the final scene plays, it is the them of times passed that will undoubtedly resonate with anyone for who had Trainspotting posters on their wall and the soundtrack on hard rotation at their house parties.

Anything else I should know? A bit of friendly advice if you are thinking about watching this.

What does the Fonz think? Lust for mid-life crisis

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