T2 Trainspotting Review
Tonight, I headed back to the good old Windy City for another advanced screening through Chicago International Film Festival. The RSVP's for this screening came with very little wiggle room compared to last time, so I knew I would have to book it like a bat out of hell from work in order to get to Chicago on time for the screeing. (I get off work around 6:30, the screening started as 7, and I was a half hour away.). Thankfully tonight at work, all the children left earlier than usual, (I work at a childcare center), so I quickly closed the building down, hopped in the car and got going. Traffic was a little patchy going into the city, figured its Friday night. The first time I went into the city for this, I got very lost and parked all the way in Navy Pier, then sprinted for ten minutes to make the screening. This time, I got a cozy parking spot in the parking garage under the movie theater. I still a little late though.
"T2 Trainspotting" is the sequel to "Trainspotting" which came out in 1996. Believe it or not, I never saw the original "Trainspotting." I know, I know. I am sure all the cult classic lovers out there are making terrible attack movements at their computers right now, but I do apologize. Thankfully, "T2" does a good job of catching people up to speed. You don't need to see the first film in order to get what is going on. There is enought exposition here that explains that Mark (Ewan McGregor), "Sick Boy" (Jonny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewen Bremner), and Franco (Robert Carlyle) were all heroine addicts once and did something together that was illegal. They got in trouble for it, Franco looses some money and goes to prison and the the rest have been estranged for twenty years. The movie explains enough for newcomers, you will get the gist of everything. But now, I am really excited to see "Trainspotting," because this sequel was awesome.
Maybe my reaction will be different from someone who is a fan of the first film. I was a "Trainspotting" virgin up until tonight. Now I can't wait to tell friends about this film and see the first. I am not going to spend time comparing and discussing how the first film does this or the first film does that, because I can't. I can say that this movie has a wicked sense of humor, its delirious and its demented and its full of energy. At other times its deathly serious, and the transition in tone and style never feels forced or negative. Its a movie full of music that is going to stick in your head, enriching the scenes that they are matched to. Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle are all actors I have enjoyed and respected over the years, and they all do incredible work here. They are identifiable, they are hilarious, they are bruised and they are completely human. If you are new to this story, these guys do an impeccable job bringing you, the audience into their very strange, very droll world.
So its been twenty years and Spud, "Sick Boy" and Mark have been estranged for the last twenty years. Whatever happened between Mark and "Sick Boy," their relationship seems like it was strained the most. They were best friends, but when they meet for the first time in this film, "Sick Boy" nearly kills Mark. They try to understand the situation, while we do too. Eventually, they work out their differences from the past, and move on. "Sick Boy" has a girlfriend named Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova). With his new girlfriend, he will open a "sauna" which is a hidden brothel. "Sick Boy" needs money fast, so he enlists the help of Mark and Spud to go on a get-rich-quick crime spree to get the money lined up for the "sauna." Meanwhile, Franco breaks out of his confinement and quickly builds back his criminal reputation once again. This will put him back on the path toward Mark and "Sick Boy" and he will be ripe with revenge.
Everybody does great work here, and one of the highlights of the film is seeing Anjela Nedyalkova do her thing. I've never heard of her before, I didn't even realize she had other movie credits to her name. But I can tell you that she's very good here. Not the typical lady we see in these kinds of movies. In fact, there are a couple twists and turns right at the end that involve her character, and she makes them all seem intense and thrilling. She brings vibrant energy to her role and does outstanding work here.
"T2 Trainspotting" is a slick, stylish, and even gritty ride. Director Danny Boyle does an amazing job throwing so many different moods into the film and making it all feel natural. There were moments and scenes discussed tonight that I can't image any director pulling off, so I give Boyle mad credit for making it all look easy. Its pretty funny and crazy through out. And anybody not familiar with this story has nothing to fear.
"T2 Trainspotting" will be in theaters March 24th.
FINAL GRADE: A