Review / ‘T2 Trainspotting’ (R) ****

DIRECTOR Danny Boyle’s filming of John Hodge’s adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel telling what those four Edinburgh tearaways are doing 20 years after the original ”Trainspotting” is not a lovely film.

But it’s cracking good cinema.

The screenplay is marvellous. The acting is masterly and masterful. The staging is an influential component of its human cast. The humour is a sharp, subtle mix of in-your-face and don’t-blink-in-case-you-miss-it. In an ancient city undergoing a desperately-needed renovation, the social commentary is poignant. The violence is uncompromising. The pathos is close to heartbreaking.

The rest, the sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction, overdosing on dodgy Viagra, gutter dialogue and other mortal dangers, coalesce into a story that pulls no punches and is told with wit, style and unrestrained cinematic power.

Ewan McGregor plays Mark, whom Simon (Jonny Lee Miller) begins by vowing to exterminate for appropriating funds of a crime committed 20 years earlier. In that endeavour, Simon’s going to have to hurry to beat prison escapee Begbie (Robert Carlyle). It’s all about money. Gangly, pathetic Spud (Ewen Bremner) is out of his depth in the company of those three villains whose ambitions exceed their ability to achieve them.

What’s wrong with it? Very little. For me, too few scenes involve the pint-sized bundle of acting dynamite Shirley Henderson playing Spud’s estranged wife Gail.

Can’t think of anything else. I was enjoying the rest too much!

At all cinemas

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