To me this was a let down. It's a fun ride, but the cumulative effect was negative. I've been thiking about it and trying to articulate why I was so dissapointed, and it kinda boils down to a sense of lost edge.
When I saw Trainspotting in 96, the world in the film was a world I could relate to. I've never been a heroin addict, or user, or scottish for that matter, but I could recognize this world as my own: the hopeless fuck up friends, the asshole childhood pal that you couldn't get rid of, steping over the line with party, drugs and fun. The film was crazy and full of surreal touches, but this was a palpable world, close to reality in all sorts of small ways.
Here, they try, but they also so firmly try not to do that. For every instance of human recognition, they have a blown out movie cliché. The stakes are always so superficially high, there's no day to day tedium to relate to.
Early on problems start to arise. When Renton and Sick Boy meet for the first time, they get into a fist fight that could be out of Kill Bill. I was thinking "wow, no one fights like this outside of movies". Begbie's whole prison escape is not only completely unbelievable and convenient, but unnecesary. And boy, this guy went from being an insecure asshole to being practically Terminator. An unvincible machine. That parking lot sequence was particularly painful. Spud's awakening as a writer, BAD. Makes no sense at all, and it becomes another swing at self reference, the film's biggest and worst sin.
It goes on for what ends up being two interminable hours. A shame, because all the actors shine, the atmosphere and visuals are there, but damn... I think when Renton updates his choose life monologue for no good reason is the moment where you can abandon all hope of this being anything more thana footnote that would have been better off never existing.