The film begins in Amsterdam with Renton running on a treadmill, we’re treated to a montage about the city, akin to an earlier about London. This one though features Johan Cruyff and Robin van Persie doing the business for the Dutch national team. Partially due to a collapse on the treadmill; Mark returns to Edinburgh. Here he meets up with friends, families, acquaintances and old haunts.
Of course the past hangs over everyone, as happens in life. There is the habit as well that as people get older then reminiscences grow and you spend more time in the past. Mark, Simon, Spud and Begbie spend a lot of time in the past, using this experience to inform the present. This is explored as well in looking at the relationship between father and son; and how this can ead to the recognition that not all traits need to be passed on. This is the same with Edinburgh which we see as a city of change, it’s discussed in the film how gentrification has not reached all the districts of the city though. Edinburgh is recognised as being more cosmopolitan and how European money has been aiding the regeneration of post industrial areas, for the time being.
One of the best things about this film is that Danny Boyle has not remade Trainspotting. This film features an excellent soundtrack that rivals that of the first film. The film though has a much different tone than the first film. That was about men in their twenties this is about men in their forties. There are exhilarating moments, there is conflict, there is drug misuse. However the characters have moved on, along with the audience.