There are a lot of freeze-frames in T2 Trainspotting. To an inattentive viewer, they might look like empty style for style’s sake, or a nod back to the flashy visuals and hyperkinetic editing of the original Trainspotting from 20 years ago. But the freeze-frames also turn the film’s subtext into text. T2 is about a group of immature men coming to grips with the fact that they are getting older. The freeze-frames — along with a steady stream of flashbacks — enable the film to do the very thing the characters wish they could do, but can’t: Stop the inexorable march of time, and even, for brief moments, turn back the clock to their youths.
If you’ve seen Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, you know that the Scottish accents of the main characters can be so thick that it’s sometimes hard to understand what they’re saying. But did you know that their accents were so thick initially that Boyle actually re-recorded the first 20 minutes of Trainspotting’s dialogue so that American audiences would be able to understand them without subtitles? We’re not entirely sure he was successful. That’s just one of the facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
It’s been eleven years since the first Trainspotting gave us an instant classic, and enough time has passed for Renton, Spud, Simon, and Begbie to learn that their lives as constantly drug-addled youths were unsustainable. In the meantime, Begbie has done some time in prison, Renton and Spud have gotten into system-cleansing athletic routines, and Simon has a very special business venture in the works.
One of the best parts of the original Trainspotting was the music: a snapshot of ’90s alternative culture, techno beats cascade their way through the film’s odd plot, providing a backdrop more vivid than any landmarks or street signs. The sequel hasn’t forgotten about the original’s electronic aesthetic, and has delivered a tracklist for their official soundtrack that is just as nostalgic for the end of the millennium as the film’s main characters.
Turns out, choosing life isn’t all that fun once you grow up and succumb to tedious responsibilities and the repetitive monotony of daily life. That’s a lesson Ewan McGregor’s Mark Renton appears to have learned in the 20 years between Trainspotting and Danny Boyle’s long-awaited sequel. As a little pre-Thanksgiving treat, Sony has released an international trailer for T2: Trainspotting, featuring a bit of new footage and plenty of new things from which to choose.
Director Danny Boyle and the cast of Trainspotting have been talking up a sequel in the press for years, to the point where it started to feel more like wishful thinking than anything else. But recent updates on the project have been quite optimistic, which makes today’s news not all that surprising: Trainspotting 2 is officially happening with Boyle, Ewan McGregor and the rest of the original cast.