It is truly hard to make a good sequel. For every Empire Strikes Back, Godfather 2, or Toy Story 2 there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of crappy sequels that there were no need for.  Comedy films can especially be the worst.  Legally Blonde 2?  Neighbors 2?  Miss Congeniality 2?  THE HANGOVER 3!?!?!

When a sequel comes out twenty years after the original film? You better have something fantastic lined up.  Was T2 Trainspotting more Godfather 2 or more Star Trek Into Darkness?

My original review for T2 Trainspotting can be found by clicking here. If you don’t want to read what I wrote I’ll quickly summarize my original thoughts:

What’s good about this film? I will easily point out the acting is superb. McGregor, Miller, and Bremner all slipped right back into their roles liked they just played these characters last year. It really was exciting to see them back as Renton, Sick Boy, and Spud. It is easily the selling point of this movie. The movie is well shot, well paced, great editing, nice call backs to the original, and superb direction by director Danny Boyle.

And while this isn’t “bad” I will also say that this sequel was completely unneeded. It seems that while Danny Boyle thought less of the book Porno there’s actually more shit that happens in that book then in this movie. The only thing that keeps this film afloat is the acting and that it is actually done well. Because without that I’m sure this movie would have been completely shit on.

Movies get sequels all the time. It happens. Why? Because maybe we are all devoid of original ideas. Maybe original ideas suck and no one wants to see those movies. Why not make a sequel to Trainspotting? It did VERY WELL overseas where I believe it has made back 3x its production budget. So good for the cast and crew. And it really isn’t a bad film. But does it hold a candle to the original? Not at all. There is zero impact to T2 where the impact of Trainspotting still resonates with me to this very day. So if you liked the first film and want to see these characters again go see T2. Just don’t go in expecting to be blown away because you’ll be surely disappointed.

Before watching the special features on this disc I gave the flick a second viewing.  Did my opinion change in any way since my viewing in theaters?  Not at all.  I really think the film is great from a technical standpoint and the acting is superb.  But there is way too much catering to nostalgia of the first film instead of driving the narrative forward.  Even the soundtrack throws back to the first film when they really should have had some choice music cuts.  The first film’s soundtrack was brilliant.  Hell even the second one they did was great.  This film?  Some new songs but a ton of throwbacks.

So what is appealing about T2 Trainspotting on Blu-ray?  Of course it is going to be the Special Features.

20 Years In The Making: A Conversation With Danny Boyle & The Cast: Danny Boyle sits down in a room with Jonny Lee Miller (Simon), Ewan McGregor (Renton), and Robert Carlyle (Begbie) to talk about the first film, the script for the second flick, how they prepared (really re-prepared) for filming, and getting back together with the original gang.  This 30 minute discussion with the foursome (minus Ewen Bremner) is the real bread and butter of this disc.
It is actually more interesting than the actual film.  It was really great to see the actors talking about what it was like getting back into their characters heads. There is also a fair amount of reminiscing about the original film which is really interesting to look back on a film that pretty much launched their careers to recognition status over twenty years ago. While very interesting I also find this 30 minute discussion pretty telling. As they reminisce about the first film it really reminds me of how this second film feels so much like an homage then a really great sequel.

They do reveal that there was a script written that was much more an adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s sequel book Porno.  They then go on to say that the script was pretty much rubbish so they tossed it and went on to write this script.  The cast must have liked it because they all signed on.  The critics seemed to like it because the film had some pretty killer reviews.  Audiences?  The flick made just over $40 million on a $18 million budget.  So you can deem it successful when totaling in worldwide grosses.  But when you factor in the original Trainspotting’s $2 million budget with a final gross of $72 million you can see that many fans of the original film just stayed away.  Was that inevitable no matter the script?  I’m not too sure.

Calton Athletic Documentary – Choosing Endorphins Over Addiction: A very short 4 minute doc. Former heroin addictions basically talking about their addiction and how they overcame both obstacles and addiction by working out, playing football, and other activities that lead to a healthy lifestyle. Why is it here? It makes sense when taken in context with the actual film. I’m not sure why you would watch any of these special features before you watch the film for the first time, but this one won’t make sense until you actually watch T2.  I liked how they took this idea and actually incorporated it into T2’s script.

Deleted Scenes:   There’s some deleted scenes that feel like they were just clipped out of a longer clip so for many of these they don’t feel so much like deleted scenes but clipped snippets. Sometimes these clipped out scenes are put back together with the clip they were taken from so you will be watching a scene that you’ve already seen and then see a bit extra before or after. Many of these deleted scenes are very short. Some just a couple of seconds. Strung all together there’s a total of thirty minutes.

The deleted scenes seem to be arranged in order from when and where they were cut out of the film (if you play the scenes all together at once).  After watching the movie you can watch these deleted scenes and not be confused where they belonged in the film.

There seems to be two tiny plots that were cut out of the film which I will discuss.  I found both fairly entertaining and would have enjoyed them if they had stayed in the film.  These plots are the only real substance of these deleted scenes.

First are some great scenes that were cut out with Begbie visiting the lawyer who he beat up in jail.  The poor guy tries to convince Franco to turn himself into police.  So what does Begbie do?  He tortures the crap out of this poor man.  Out of all the things Begbie did in this film this one felt like the one thing that made the most sense.  Shame it was cut.

Now my original review had this to say about Kelly Macdonald’s character Diane: The film also brings back Kelly Macdonald’s Diane for some brief scenes only because it is a sequel and why not bring her back for the sequel if she says yes to being in it??? Literally her being in the film is nonsense except that they wanted to bring her back.

I was actually happy to find out that this actually wasn’t the case.  The other big reveal of these deleted scenes is that after Renton has his run-in with Begbie he actually shacks up with Diane for a wee moment.  Diane pretty much helps him because of their past.  Does Renton want something to happen?  Possibly.  Does it happen?  Watch the deleted scenes and find out.  Am I happy that they basically cut Diane out and made her appearance in the film a glorified cameo?  No.  Cutting these scenes out doesn’t hurt the film but I believe the flick would have been more complete if they had kept these scenes in.

 

There may not be tons of Special Features on this disc.  Other than a commentary track featuring Danny Boyle that I didn’t listen to, that is it.  The big ‘HOWEVER’ here is that the Special Features here are a very satisfying meal.  Between the thirty minute sit down with the cast and the thirty minutes of deleted scenes you are looking at one full hour of entertainment.  Worth the purchase?  Sure.  If you enjoyed the film you’ll want to pick it up.  If you missed it in theaters and were a fan of the first flick you’ll want to pick it up as well.  While I don’t think it is the best sequel in the world nor one that was particularly needed, it was still very good at times.

RANK: B-

SPECIAL FEATURES: A-

REVIEW: T2 Trainspotting

HARD TO WATCH REVIEW: Trainspotting