It's been 21 years since Trainspotting cemented the reputation of director Danny Boyle and made leading man Ewan McGregor a star. Now we get a sequel, and the lengthy gap between instalments certainly works in its favour – the passage of time giving this eventual reunion of Trainspotting's four major players (Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie) plenty of narrative scope and tension.
The story (based in part on Irvine Welsh's own sequel novel Porno) is an expected seedy mix of drug use, prostitutes and – again – stolen money, although the whole production doesn't quite have the same feeling of raw power as its 1996 predecessor. That's not to say it isn't rewarding; stepping back into Boyle's Edinburgh underbelly, in the company of a first-rate cast, evokes nostalgia for a time when everyone had that 'Choose life...' poster on their wall and no one had heard the term 'cinematic universe'. T2: Trainspotting also provides a more fitting end to a story that you may have felt was left hanging in the original flick.
Picture: Presumably an upscale of the film's 2K DI, itself made up of sub-4K resolution digital photography, this doesn't quite scream 'Ultra HD Blu-ray' when it comes to pure sharpness (and isn't immune to some noise), but it's well delineated and crisper than in 1080p guise. Colour and HDR grading are more obvious differences, however, with more intensity and range to hues, and 'pop' to specific bright elements. Scenes, be they external or internal, therefore have a greater sense of realism.
Picture rating: 4/5
Audio: 4K system owners get an upgrade here, with Sony providing a Dolby Atmos mix (rather than 5.1 DTS-HD MA) as UHD accompaniment. It's a robust track, too: loud, dynamic, bass-rich and with good use of the surround and height layers to realise its varied locations, although the latter doesn't enjoy many scene-stealing moments.
Audio rating: 4/5
Extras: Worthwhile extra features are all found on the Full HD Blu-ray. These are a commentary track by Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge; a 25-minute chat with Boyle and the principle cast (20 Years in the Making...); around half-an-hour of deleted scenes; and a short video about recovering addicts taking up sport.
Extras rating: 3.5/5
We say: The boys are back in 'toun' for one last misadventure on a solid Ultra HD release.
T2 Trainspotting, Sony Pictures, Ultra HD Blu-ray & All-region BD, £30
HCC VERDICT: 4/5
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