It’s easy to be cynical about sequels. Cash grabs. Fan service. Fucking franchise films. Interconnected post-credits scenes for the next movie in the cinematic universe. The new normal is a list of top-grossing films dominated by sequels and spinoffs and the seventh Spider-Man film in almost as many years.
T2: Trainspotting is an obvious target for such cynicism. Two decades after the heroin-dazed black comedy became the top-grossing British film of 1996, Renton (Ewan McGregor), Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) — now going by Simon — and Francis “Franco” Begbie (Robert Carlyle) are back in Edinburgh to fuck each others’ lives up all over again. You might dismiss the film as a desperate grasp for relevance, filled as it is with references to and even snippets of footage from the original film, like a 40-year-old trying to squeeze into skinny jeans. But that cynicism would be misdirected.