The Best Sequel of A Movie Ever – T2

The one thing I start here is a complaint, or question, or a portmanteau quesplaint:

How can I register a UK iTunes account if I live in Hong Kong, so that, I can save my time (bloody three months!) waiting for the movie to be released for rent.

Trainspotting 2

To be honest, this review is quite partial and biased, and you know why. And I have to admit, this movie is specifically tuned, and 10x supercharged, to fans of Trainspotting the movie and/or the novel. From the pub they had used to meet (and met again in the movie), to the council flat they had used to jab their heroin (where Spud jabbed himself for suicide, and later stuck the pictures and notes of their primes, their junk, their togetherness, etc.), to Renton’s claustrophobic room in Edinburgh pasted with trains repetitive wall paper from corner to corner, to the public toilet, to the music, to the grass where Mark Renton used to give his classic oratory about Scotland, to the package of the movie for promotion, in short in every single sense, Danny Boyle is telling you only one theme about the story, Nostalgia, good’o days/bad’o days. Danny Boyle and his whole team are shamelessly and blatantly asserting that they are consuming our (fans’) nostalgic feeling of the first installment of this movie in 1993, when started the rocket stardom of literally all of them.  Danny Boyle went so far to deliberately make a plot to rewind the scene where Renton did his cunning youth smile in front of the windshield, which is, to me, very honest, the worst, the most out-of-context, the most on99 and the oddest part of the whole movie.

However, Danny Boyle grasped every opportunity in the plot, in the lighting, in the sound, in the cut, the shooting, to give you a sense of irony, which is equally shared by both the characters in the story and the whole production team creating the movie (director and actors included), that they have changed a lot already. First of all, the movie is no cult movie anymore. The actors and directors are no nobody anymore. They cannot treat everything in the set as though the same as they used to be. Age, fate, marriage, family, health, weary, success or failure (mostly failure), loneliness, helplessness (Renton’s another classic quote “I can live another 30 years. But what the fuck do I live for these 30 years?"), international football, Kelly MacDonald, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, the social media, the parties, the crimes, the gangster system, the immigration system (I couldn’t help myself LOL when Renton asked the Edinburgh Ambassador where she was from, and she answered Slovenia in Eastern European Accent), the social care system (Danny used the last rolling to tell you the end of social housing even in Edinburgh!).  Cinematic photography has changed a lot since 1993. Danny Boyle kept the par on that change in the movie. His shooting of Edinburgh was heartrendingly delicate, especially the night time.  That parallel narratives of the movie about that irony faced by them both in front of and and behind the scene is the best part, telling me the sharpness and dark humour of Danny Boyle is still here, if not even sharper.

The movie tried to make use of many nuances and minutiae to tell the characters that everything has moved on without them. However, all those minutiae and nuances point us back to the Bulgarian hooker, Veronica. It is one of the weaker part of the movie. But I don’t mind. Veronica is so enjoyable throughout the movie. If we really need a muse, she is the muse. And, sometimes, few is better than many, and one is better than few.  The characters also knew that everything has moved on без themselves. But they couldn’t help but kept self-tormenting, self-haunting by what happened 20 years ago. The baby, Tommy, the 20,000 pounds, the betrayal, George Best, Protestant/Catholic Scotland, the heroin, the wild time of youth. I know it’s not a very innovative theme. Neither was the them innovatively presented. But at certain age, like mine, such theme just keeps resonating within my soul, captivating and reverberating, until the echo from within dissipates after a week, 2 weeks or a month. And when there is another one presenting exactly the same tune, the resonation rewinds all over again. So I told you I am biased. This movie reminds me of a drama made in HK a couple of years ago, When Heaven Burns. Same theme (Nostalgia), same time-frame (20 years), same number of characters (5), same sense of helplessness in front of those feelings (remorse, betrayal, rage, guilty pleasure and enthusiasm of what we used to do), except the carnage (it’s totally unimportant as I haven’t been shown even one scene of cannibalism). But T2 is comparatively better. It is because, in the mud of all those shit, we should also find something funny. And T2 is after all very funny.

After T2, I not only can remember every single character, I also find myself a bit down that I have to say goodbye to all of them, as I’m quite sure they cannot make T3 anyhow. I believe that.

75 out of 100


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