Screening Room: ‘T2 Trainspotting’

It’s been about twenty years, what have the lads from Trainspotting been up to? Much the same as before, only with less heroin, it would appear. T2 Trainspotting, the hit-and-miss but turbocharged sequel from all the original crew, is playing now.

My review is at Film Journal International:

The last we saw Renton (Ewan McGregor) in Trainspotting, that verve-and-nerve 1990s midpoint between Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, he was absconding with several thousand pounds that he and his junkie mates had scored in a heroin deal. The first we see of him in the sequel, two decades on, he’s still running. But unlike the first film’s now-iconic dashes through the streets of Edinburgh, now Renton, the onetime rail-thin hedonist and Iggy Pop enthusiast, is on a treadmill. In a gym. It all seems to have gone intensely wrong for him even before he has a good percussive pratfall to start this pell-mell sequel…

Here’s the trailer:

New in Theaters: ‘The Impossible’

theimpossible-posterIn the based-on-a-true-story melodrama The Impossible, Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts play a married couple who must fight to survive the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami:

The film flits between the two knots of survivors, contrasting the parents’ heartsick dread of the unknown with their children’s more pragmatic reasoning and straightforward terror. Despite the script’s hacky tendencies the movie repeatedly comes up with devastatingly effective visuals. It underscores how awful it is not to know. At times, particularly in one nerve-rattling sequence where Maria is being flung this way and that by underwater currents, with shadowy objects stabbing out of the murk like vengeful ghosts, it becomes almost unbearable to watch…

The Impossible is playing now in semi-limited release. My full review is at PopMatters.

You can view the trailer here: