Danny Boyle does it again. After the critically acclaimed, and still popular Trainspotting, we at long last get a look in on the gang to see what has become of the rag-tag bunch all these years later.
After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor – Beauty and the Beast, A Million ways to Die in the West) returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewen Bremner – Snowpiercer), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle).
There is a good dose of the first film, with music, and gritty feel, but just enough, so as not to play on nostalgia, and to allow T2 to stand on its own. The characters have each taken different paths in life, since they were last together, and now each is in a position where they can make a choice to throw it all away again, or to “choose life” and make a success.
With much duelling over friendship, and revenge, there is a sordid web that is woven, brought into existence by many varied relationships held between each of the friends.
Having such a talented ensemble, there is no lack of character depth, as each falls right back into those youngsters we know from the first film, yet changed enough to follow the passage of time. Not leaving out the cinematography, as the camera itself becomes a character in the story, drawing in the viewer as we feel somewhat of a voyeur into the dirty buildings and questionable lives that are providing such engrossing entertainment.
T2 Trainspotting is an excellent film, it entertains, the plot has enough to keep one guessing, and it even leaves us with a small life lesson in the end. This is certainly a must see, for fans and new audiences alike. If you’ve not seen the first film, grab that, and make a weekend of it.
Overall, the disc is of a decent technical quality, with a great main feature, and a few good bonus features. A well rounded package.
T2 Trainspotting is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
Video on the main feature is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen. Colours are vibrant where needed, and there is no colour bleed. Darker scenes maintain a good amount of detail.
This high standard of DVD video quality is maintained with the bonus materiel.
Viewers with larger or higher resolution screens could scale up, should they wish.
Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and is presented in both a 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack. Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with the weight of the sound carried by the front channels.
There is a fair amount of usage of the surround channels, mostly in scenes taking place in larger settings, where these serve to expand the on-screen action, and further draw the viewer into the story.
Navigation is basic, and easy to follow. The main menu has a static background, with accompanying music, and text menu items to play the main movie, select audio language and subtitle, scene selections, and special features.
The language sub-menu allows for selection of audio language and subtitles, with options to return to the main menu, or play the movie from here.
The scene selection sub-menus consist of four large, colour, still thumbnails. While there are numbered, they are not labelled. This would likely entail some guesswork when wishing to navigate to a particular part of the main feature, but this is at least helped in part by the large size of the images.
The special features sub-menu allows access to audio commentary and some featurettes.
Audio commentary by director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge – An insightful addition, adding value to the film, and sure to be of interest to fans, viewers and filmmakers. The two discuss the on-screen aspects, and various aspects of the filmmaking process, as the movie plays.
20 Years in the Making: A conversation with Danny Boyle and the cast – A casual chat between the director and cast, each giving input about their role and character, and how the second film eventually came to be after a twenty year wait.
Calton Athletic documentary: choosing endorphins over drugs – A short video, about Calton athletic club, and how the organisation has helped many kick the drug habit.
Deleted scenes – There are 29 deleted scenes included on the DVD, with several sub-menus allowing the viewer to select the individually, from a list of labels, or a playlist to play all.