Starring: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kelly MacDonald, Shirley Henderson (Rated R – 117 min).
Controversy surrounded the original Scottish drug-induced 1996 release Trainspotting due to frank subject matter with graphically detailed, often dark comedic visuals, based on the equally disturbing Irvine Welsh novel about friends going through the motions of extreme addiction.
The surviving Scots return 20 years on but not necessarily wiser in a funny, sad, disturbing sequel I never really expected to see. The shock value remains, although less rambunctious.
Last time we saw Renton (Ewan McGregor), he was on the run with a bag full of cash from a major deal that was originally to be shared with his cohorts. Now drug-free, he returns to Edinburgh for an unannounced reunion that was probably not a great idea unless the incentive was to stir up grudges and memories.
Spud (Ewen Bremner), Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and Sick-Boy (Jonny Lee Miller): all leading their lives completely opposite to each other, are dragged back into the mix of questionable behaviour upon the return of Renton, not that Begbie was ever out of it.
Not for the faint-hearted or easily offended, drug culture is depicted in an outrageous manner with issues of seriousness as with the first installment slotted in at usually the most random times. My favourite character Diane is back too, she participated in the most brilliant extended nightclub to taxi to bedroom to the music of Blondie scene from the original.
All grown up helping Renton out in a lawyer capacity, Kelly MacDonald has hardly aged a day but is unfortunately seen sparingly. Unless you watch it on a regular basis such as myself, following story arcs may become difficult if not familiar with the vibrant tale told 20 years ago. So I certainly suggest seeking out the first part of the story on DVD before entering this continuation. Flashbacks can be limiting.
Unassuming Hungarian talent Anjela Nedyalkova assimilates to the mayhem with natural assertiveness, while a loud soundtrack keeps things alive. There are no real dull spots throughout, some images linger longer than they should most often due to cringe worthy situations often ending in violence.
I loved it, however for the uninitiated, watch at your own risk.
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.