Starring: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Irvine Welsh
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Black comedy drama sequel directed by Danny Boyle. Twenty years have gone by and much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him, Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance.
Spud: You, you b****rd!
Spud: What the f*** are you doing to me?
Renton: I was just f***ing saving your life!
Spud: Save my life? You ruined my f***ing life, Mark. You ruined it! Now you’re ruining my f***ing death, too! Thanks a lot, amigo.
Renton: F***ing s**t! I did what I could for you! I gave you four thousand pounds!
Spud: What did you think I was going to do with four thousand pounds, Mark? I was a f***ing junkie!
Renton: Aye, suppose you were.
Spud: I still am!
Spud: I missed you, man.
Renton: Don’t go trying to kill yourself again, eh?
Spud: No, not while I got my friend in town, eh?
Simon: Hello, Mark.
Simon: So, what have you been up to, for twenty years?
Simon: We did a deal back then, twenty years ago. Couple of bags of H, good quality stuff. We took it to London. Me, him, Begbie, Spud Murphy. Sold it. Not a bad price. Sixteen thousand pounds to be divided in four equal parts. He ran off with it, took it all. And now what does he think I am, a whore? He can just pay me off? Four thousand pounds, not even any interest. What am I supposed to do with that? Buy a f***ing time machine? Live my life all over again? Only this time without being robbed and betrayed by my best f***ing friend! No, it doesn’t work like that. What I’m going to do, Veronika, is I’m going to draw him back in as my friend, my very best friend, my partner, and then I’m going to hurt him. I’m going to hurt him in every way that I can.
Simon: Your blood runs in my veins, Mark.
Simon: If we’re not back in an hour, call the police.
Niki: What shall I say?
Simon: Just tell them we’re dead.
Renton: Well, you know Simon.
Diane: I certainly remember him. Does he still take heroin?
Diane: Do you?
Renton: No. Not for twenty years.
Diane: That’s really good. Well done.
Diane: So, are you the woman in the video?
Veronika: My face is not seen.
Diane: Do you have any identifying marks? Tattoos on your buttocks?
Veronika: Certainly not.
Diane: On your perineum?
Renton: It’s the bit of skin between your v***na and your b**hole.
Veronika: That’s disgusting.
Diane: So you’re not vajazzled.
Veronika: What’s “choose life”?
Veronika: “Choose life”. Simon says it sometimes. He says, “Choose life, Veronika.”
Renton: “Choose life”. “Choose life” was a well meaning slogan from a 1980’s anti-drug campaign and we used to add things to it, so I might say for example, choose designer lingerie, in the vain hope of kicking some life back into a dead relationship. Choose handbags, choose high-heeled shoes, cashmere and silk, to make yourself feel what passes for happy. Choose an iPhone made in China by a woman who jumped out of a window and stick it in the pocket of your jacket fresh from a South-Asian Firetrap. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand others ways to spew your bile across people you’ve never met. Choose updating your profile, tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don’t look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging from your first wank to your last breath, human interaction reduced to nothing more than data. Choose ten things you never knew about celebrities who’ve had surgery. Choose screaming about abortion. Choose rape jokes, slut-shaming, revenge porn and an endless tide of depressing misogyny. Choose 9/11 never happened, and if it did, it was the Jews. Choose a zero-hour contract and a two-hour journey to work. And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and maybe tell yourself that it’s better that they never happened. And then sit back and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s f***ing kitchen. Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing you’d done it all differently. Choose never learning from your own mistakes. Choose watching history repeat itself. Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment and choose losing the ones you love, and as they fall from view, a piece of you dies with them until you can see that one day in the future, piece by piece, they will all be gone and there’ll be nothing left of you to call alive or dead. Choose your future, Veronika. Choose life.
Veronika: I like your stories. I think you should write them down.
Spud: You think?
Veronika: Yeah. Just write them the way you say them. They’re funny. I would like to read them.
Simon: [trying to remember Tommy] Well, I’m trying hard, Mark, but I’m not feeling anything. We were young. Bad things happened. It’s over. Can we go home now?
Renton: Two hours to the next train.
Simon: Oh, for f***’s sake.
Renton: Look, we’re here as an act of memorial.
Simon: Nostalgia. That’s why you’re here. You’re a tourist in your own youth.
Renton: [Begbie drops Viagra in his bathroom stall] What all this then? Planning a special event, are we, sir?
Begbie: Give me the tablets pal!
Renton: Remember not to exceed the stated dose.
Begbie: Just give us the f***ing tablets before I come through there and pound your f***ing head in!
Renton: Aye, alright. F***ing calm down. F***’s sake.
Renton: I did steal the money, but they shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, we stole from all sorts of people. Shops, businesses, neighbors, family. Friends was just one more class of victim.
Begbie: World changes, eh, June? Even if we don’t.
Spud: Aye, well, like you said, twenty years has just flown by, eh?
Spud: No, first, there is an opportunity, right? And then, then there is a betrayal.
Simon: He’s doing what?
Renton: Writing them down.
Renton: That’s what he told me.
Renton: Apparently so.
Simon: So, who’s going to read them?
Renton: Well, that’s the problem. Nobody.
Gail: I thought of a title.