Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Jonny Lee Miller
and Robert Carlyle
What's it about
Hip Scottish junkies live their lives as junkies while a groovy soundtrack plays in the background.
Is it good movie?
Trainspotting busts out of the gate with a bang when ďLush for LifeĒ kicks in with a driving drum beat, and Renton and company start on the run. The movie grabs your balls and doesnít let go as weíre thrust into the dark world of heroin and the people that live there. It presents the life of the junkie with humor, but never makes it glamorous. It ensures that viewer understands reasons and never judges. These characters know what theyíre doing, even if they donít think that they do.
What I love about Trainspotting is that it never portrays the junkies as stereotypical. They might be scumbags, but theyíre people with ambition, families, and values (sorta). To me, when I think of heroin user I think trash living in a shit motel on South Broadway (or your local seedy part of town). However, this movie reminds that normal folk screw up too. And in fact, they could be very likeable and interesting (though it doesnít motivate me to go to Broadway and meet new friends. Have fun with your dope.).
Trainspotting was a new voice, a unique and unfiltered look at the dark side of being lost in the world. Itís damn fun revisiting the movie considering I havenít seen the thing in probably a decade. I had forgotten its power even though it doesnít cover new ground. The notion of a lost generation isnít anything new, but director Danny Boyleís presentation is what makes it go. He creates an unrelenting pace that never allows the audience to get bored. He uses a soundtrack that a mix of pop, punk, and techno, back when soundtracks mattered. And then thereís some of the most memorably disgusting scenes ever recorded. Namely, the toilet from hell at the beginning of the movie where Ewan McGregor has diarrhea and is forced to use a toilet that is less than sanitary. Thatís gross enough, but then he remembers he had hidden with stash in his butt, forcing him to go toilet diving. Itís still a tough scene to watch, and I blame it for my long-standing fear of public restrooms. That bathroom is my ultimate nightmare.
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear Widescreen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 DTS-HD
Audio Commentary: Join Danny Boyle, Andrew Macdonald, John Hodge, and Ewan McGregor for a great track.
Trainspotting Retrospective: A detailed examination of the movie with features both then and now. Itís interesting seeing how the views have changed and havenít over the years. Four different segments.
The Making of Trainspotting: A nine-minute feature that does what it says it does. It looks at the making of the movie.
Deleted Scenes: Eight deleted scenes with a commentary. Nothing ground breaking, and theyíre very rough.
Trainspotting gave Ewan his career, but itís not his movie despite him having the narration and being the main character. Without Sick Boy, Spud, Tommy, and Begbie, the movie would lack the emotional punch in the balls it has. Itís powerful, poetic, and hard to watch. But well worth it.