Trainspotting 2 – the verdict

Trainspotting 2 – or T2 as it’s become known – had its world premiere in Edinburgh tonight, with the stars of the film in attendance at Cineworld, Fountain Park.

The sequel to Danny Boyle’s 1996 classic, however, was screened in London last week, meaning many critics had their say long before the orange carpet event in Edinburgh.

T2 comes 21 years after the original film, based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh.

The sequel is loosely based on the Edinburgh-born author’s follow-up book, Porno.

Some reviewers loved the film’s sense of nostalgia as cult characters Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and Spud (Ewen Bremner) reunited on the big screen more than 20 years after the original.

Other critics were less than impressed and stuck the boot into Trainspotting 2.

Giving the film a glowing four-star reviews, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw noted that the characters had returned for “a scabrous and brutal black comedy about middle-aged male disappointment and fear of death”.

He concluded: “T2 isn’t as good as T1: it is a little too long and unwinds a bit into caper sentimentality, broad comedy and self-mythologising. But it has the same punchy energy, the same defiant pessimism, and there’s nothing around like it.”

Scottish newspaper The Daily Record awarded no stars to the film – but not because they weren’t impressed. Simply that they don’t do a star rating.

Writing for the paper, Chris Hunneyset acknowledged that “T2 understands it won’t capture the youthful zeitgeist the way Trainspotting did.”

Yet in summation, he added: “The sharp and funny script chooses to honour the characters by allowing them to mature disgracefully while still being sympathetic towards them.”

Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent, meanwhile, was even more enthusiastic – awarding the film five stars.

Macnab wrote that: “Boyle directs with huge energy and inventiveness, using music every bit as effectively as in the first film to drive on the action.”

Writing for Digital Spy, Rosie Fletcher was less complimentary: “It’s bathed in nostalgia. It references Trainspotting constantly, but rather than reigniting the subversive, energetic flame, it just makes you miss it… The trouble is it doesn’t go anywhere.”

In a damning parting shot, she suggested, “Choose DVD.”

Empire’s Ian Freer awarded it a credible three stars, saying “it rides along similar lines but it is just not quite as good”, while The Telegraph’s Robbie Collins also gave it three stars and noted that “there’s no chance of [T2 Trainspotting] matching… [the original’s] legacy, but it won’t tarnish it either: though the film feeds on its forerunner, it’s worthwhile on its own terms.”

AAA Edinburgh will post its own review of Trainspotting 2 shortly.

Trainspotting 2 will be released in cinemas on January 27, and in the US a week later.

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