9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"It's got great personality",
This review is from: Trainspotting: The Definitive Edition [DTS] [DVD]  (DVD)
Danny Boyle's Irvine Welsh adaptation treads the line carefully between attacking the drug lifestyle and glamourising it, by doing what most filmmakers seem afraid of doing: saying that yes, it does feel like it has great benefits. "Why else would we do it?" says Ewan McGregor, who gives the film a fantastic narration. The Scottish isn't as hard to decipher as it's made out to be.
It shares with Clockwork Orange a clutch of harrowing, graphic scenes of violence or drug use, but also a sense of a story well told, and an innate watchability. Once you've seen it once or twice and gotten over the initial "Agh!" of a few scenes, it becomes quite likeable. The cast are all down to Earth and believable (McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller, aka the sly Bond-obsessed Sick Boy, are fantastic, with Ewen Bremner as the loopy but loveable Spud and Robert Carlysle in his breakthrough turn as psycho Begbie) and the easy-to-get-to-grips-with script sticks to Irvine Welsh (the first credit at the end of the movie is to him).
It's can be equally gritty (the toilet scene and some of the film's harsher realities) and surreal (the trips), which ensures it's not boring for a second, and Danny Boyle's direction makes sure it won't displease the eye for a moment either. The pop soundtrack is brilliant, and enfuses the film with energy (as if it was lacking already, which it isn't), allowing the proceedings to leap forward without anyone feeling too bothered. Choppy editing adopted by Lock Stock also slickens things, and the fact that none of these characters get any real depth or life story - even McGregor's Renton tells nothing of his past or how he met these people - the ensemble performances and overall gradual story make up for it. You'll more than likely be cheering for McGregor in the finale.
The DVD is fun but hardly "definitive," boasting a solid commentary from Boyle, writer Hodges and McGregor; an interview with Welsh; some Cannes clips (with Damon Albarn, Martin Landau and Noel Gallagher, as if they had anything to do with it); trailers and a few all-too-brief retrospectives. Still, it's all brilliantly presented. And after all, the film... perhaps not "the best British film of the decade," but sure in the running... makes up for any problems and then some.