After catching the same train, and walking to the same spot, our heroes stand in the same green field they stood in two decades ago.

Sick Boy, now a man in his forties but still blessed with the same roguish charisma and shock blonde hair, is, once again, mid-rant.

Turning to his old pal Mark "Rent Boy" Renton, he spits, "Nostalgia. That's why you're here."

Ewan McGregor as Mark Renton and Jonny Lee Miller as Simon on railway tracks in TriStar Pictures' T2: TRAINSPOTTING
Ewan McGregor as Mark Renton and Jonny Lee Miller as Simon on railway tracks in TriStar Pictures' T2: TRAINSPOTTING

It's a prescient remark and a spot on bit of meta-commentary. 1996's Trainspotting exploded on the pop culture. It was a small cult film (budget: £1.5 million) that infiltrated the mainstream (box office: £72m). It embodied "Cool Britannia" and the fashionable "heroin chic" trend, while also showing the grave and fatal consequences of choosing that life.

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So Sick Boy's statement is a winking moment, speaking directly to the audience without breaking the fourth wall. In the original, Renton was on the receiving end of a similar, perhaps now prophetic, rant.

After being berated by Sick Boy he exasperatedly asks, "we all get old and then we can't hack it anymore. Is that it? That's your theory?"

"Yeah," Sick Boy grins back. "Beautifully f***ing illustrated."

Two decades after that beautiful illustration of life, Trainspotting director Danny Boyle takes us back to Edinburgh to see how Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and the violent nutter Begbie have fared over the years.

Like us, they've got old. The question is, can they still hack it? And, can we?

Where these guys once struggled (or not) with drug addiction, now they're struggling with the effects of time, their life choices and the reality that their youth is forever gone.

It's a very different buzz from the first film. But this is still Trainspotting. It's funny, intense, exciting and consistently inventive. Surprisingly, it's also melancholic and tinged with sadness.

The film is hugely nostalgic but in ways you don't anticipate. It confronts rather than comforts. The movie forces both you and its characters to remember the hopes and dreams of the person you were 20 years ago versus the reality of the person you are now.

T2: Trainspotting

entertains and thrills. But most of all it makes you take a good hard look at yourself.

Did you choose a job, a career, a big f**king television? Did you, ultimately, choose life?


Cast: Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner
Director: Danny Boyle
Running Time: 117 mins
Rating: R16 (Violence, offensive language, drug use, sex scenes & content that may disturb)
Verdict: A total rush and one hell of a trip but look out for the comedown