T2 Trainspotting Ewan McGregor Robert Carlyle

Darkly comic gusto

Danny Boyle’s anarchic 1996 adaptation of Irving Welsh’s cult novel Trainspotting was one of the decade’s most iconic and exhilarating movies. Pulling off a successful sequel was always going to be a tall order, but Boyle and his reunited stars have done it with T2 Trainspotting, a movie that tears into its characters’ nostalgia for the past – and our own – with darkly comic gusto.

Twenty years have passed and Ewan McGregor’s Renton returns to Edinburgh from Amsterdam, looking to make amends with the pals he ripped off after a drug deal two decades earlier. As you might expect, his reunions with Ewen Bremner’s dim-bulb Spud, Johnny Lee Miller’s sardonic Sick Boy and Robert Carlyle’s psychotic Begbie are highly combustible. Now middle-aged, they are certainly older but not necessarily any wiser.

Which gives a definite edge to a series of ironic nods to the first film, starting with an opening scene that finds Renton pounding away on a gym treadmill rather than sprinting hell-for-leather through the Edinburgh streets. Throughout, Boyle’s customary visual swagger is much in evidence. Yet if T2 doesn’t entirely recapture its predecessor’s giddy rush, well that surely is the point.

Certificate 18. Runtime 117 mins. Director Danny Boyle

T2 Trainspotting available on Digital Download, and on DVD, Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD from 5 June.