Reaction: “Trainspotting 2” Teaser Trailer

Post by Scott Stalcup

“Here comes Johnny Yen again…”

This week saw the posting for the trailer for Trainspotting 2, helmed by its predecessor’s director Danny Boyle.  The film is said to be based, as the original was (kind of) on Irvine Welsh’s novel, the sequel called Porno (And while I know this site is dedicated to films, go read as much Welsh as you can.  If you get nothing else from it, you can understand Scots dialects better than some wee buftie whose goat shite for grasp, ya ken?).  The failure to use the novel’s original title met with an excess of whinging on the Internet, but given the huge amount of stick the film got from the Right on both sides of the Atlantic for allegedly glorifying heroin use, can you blame the production for not going with that title?

Boyle recreates the railway platform shot of the original, with the car pulling away to reveal Spud (Ewan Bremner), Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) twenty years on, with the sound of the train moving giving way to the always gooseflesh-inducing opening to Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life.”  Using the orange motif of the original, the trailer announces “The original cast returns!” giving a bunch of over-forties a reason to do their best not to die before its release next February.

Back to the whingers, comments ranged from “They look so old!” to “This is just a cash grab!”  I can understand some of the cynicism, given recent sequels and reboots leaving filmgoers with a bad taste in their collective mouth, but the film ticks three marks in its favor: Original cast back on board.  Original director at the helm (Imagine the epic fail that would result if Bay or Abrahms directed?!!?)  The source text is, as stated earlier, brilliant.  Yes, the sequel novel took place only ten years later or so, but contextually, this can only work in the film’s favor.

In a rare instance of optimism, I am SO looking forward to this!  The iconic original was released at the height of “Cool Britannia,” a return of Labour to power with the same emphasis on youth culture by Tony Blair that Harold Wilson gave when the Conservative government was told “git tae fuck!” in the mid-1960s.  The Iron Lady was gone, as was her successor John Major, the David Johansen to Thatch’s Mick Jagger (“a pale and [un]amusing derivative” (Thank you, “Whispering Bob” Harris!)  A second British invasion dominated popular music with Oasis, Blur, Pulp and Suede sweeping aside grunge with Blair and Noel Gallagher giving that generation its “Elvis and Nixon” moment when Noel appeared at Number 10.  After so many decades of “being colonised by effete arseholes,” referendum was being bandied about as well.

We all know what happened next.  Blair became Bush’s puppet in a war for oil.  Britpop crumbled like the empire from whence it came (Small consolation that we got The Roses back, assuming they ever finish their Third Coming (and it’s better than The Second Coming).  Conservatives returned to power and in Brexit, the older generation led the vote to leave the E.U. with current right-wing leaders deciding fait accompli (or whatever the right phrase is now.  Can French still be used?) and stepping down.  So it’s good morning from Nigel Farage (“Good night” wouldn’t work.  UKIP gets rather stroppy about darkness.), Boris Badenov Johnson, and David Cameron, whose only accomplishment of note, outside of earning the eternal scorn of Peppa the Pig fans, will be he managed to get The Smiths back together or at least reunite Morrissey and Johnny Marr in their common hatred for Cameron on social media, forbidding him from being a Smiths fan.  Referendum came up.  Scotland backed down.

Twenty years later, it’s still shite being Scottish!  Welcome back, lads.  Nice to see you again.

Roll on to February, then?  Save the left side, front row, aisle seat for me or I will physically fling you out of it.


Scott Stalcup received his MA in Communication Studies from Northern Illinois University in 2015.  He valiantly continues to finish the dissertation for his English PhD.  Some may wonder why it is taking him so long considering his long list of publications, including articles and book reviews for the likes of ELN, Studies in Popular Culture, Gothic Studies, The Journal of Mind and Behavior, and even a few book chapters, including his most recent in the anthology Time Travel and Television on the UK comedy Red Dwarf.  If approached in the wild, it is best not to get him on the subjects of the Ramones or Joy Division, and whatever you do, NEVER mention J.G. Ballard.    

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