“T2 Trainspotting” A Ghostly Sequel With Subtitles

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What do you do after you’ve won an Oscar and produced the opening ceremonies at the Olympics?

index2“Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle chose to dangle his toes in “T2: Trainspotting,” a sequel to his 20 year old “A Hard Days Night” type cult romp about heroin addicts.

In the original Boyle’s jagged and disorienting style reflected the lives being chronicled and the culture around them.

The sequel also has a distinctive visual ebb and flow – in one quick scene a woman who has died is shown as a shadow at the dinner table. But while the first film felt cuttingly precise, the new one feels stagey.

It’s hard to believe that the characters are still alive after all this time, having apparently been preserved by the hatred that finds them at each others throats. Carlyle is the comically menacing thug Begbie and Ewen Bremer is soulful as the bug-eyed Spud whose scribblings represent the short stories by Irvine Welsh that the first film was based on.

indexEwan Mcgregor’s Renton gets two signature scenes, the sneering “choose life” monologue updated to include new technology and an explosive “Lust For Life” reprise in his childhood bedroom with train wallpaper.

He and Jonny Miller’s Sick Boy perform a roaring anti-Catholic song, while picking Protestant pockets in a bar.

Boyle collaborator John Hodge wrote both films.

Boyle adds a ghostly time passes layer of pathos with scratch footage of the characters as kids and in scenes from the original. And as with the first film there is plenty of bodily fluid and loading dock language spoken in a Scottish accent often so uniquely impenetrable there are subtitles.

*** Three stars

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