What would you do with a diseased little island?

28 Days Later (2002)   Evolution’s a nasty business. If not for its baleful influence, all those genetically similar apes – or bats – would be unable to transmit deadly lab-made viruses to humans and cause a zombie plague. Thank the lord we’ve got science on our side, to save us from such scientifically approved, stamped and certified terrors. Does Danny Boyle believe in the programming he expounds? As in, is he as aware of 28 Days Later’s enforcement of the prescribed paradigm in the same manner as the product placement he oversees in every other frame of the movie (and

I hated it, but I wasn’t interested enough to listen to it again to find out why.

Yesterday (2019)   Danny Boyle’s paean to The Beatles via a scenario where they – as a band, rather than the individuals themselves – have been winked out of existence during a power surge is a cute enough Mandela Effect conceit; only Himesh Patel, and eventually two others, have any recollection of their existence. But the result, scripted by self-professed muso Richard Curtis – see The Boat That Rocked, or rather don’t – from a story by Jack Barth, is weak swill. Apparently, $10m of Yesterday‘s $26m budget was spent securing rights to use the Fab Four’s songs, but you have to

So what have you been up to… for twenty years?

T2 Trainspotting (2017)   “First there was an opportunity. And then there was a betrayal.” The story of making of The Beach? I had been of the view that Danny Boyle was dicing with artistic death by revisiting past glories, particularly given Trainspotting’s dismissal of those who inevitably get old, past it and deteriorate, but this – and maybe it is just that nostalgia talking, an active conversation the picture cannily embraces and foregrounds, almost metatextually so – is his best picture since those glory days. He can’t resist overdoing the directorial dazzle at times, and screenwriter John Hodge’s conceits don’t always come off,

It’s shite being Scottish!

Trainspotting (1996)   It’s easy to understand Danny Boyle’s urge to revisit Trainspotting. After all, even given the Oscar garlands for Slumdog Millionaire, he’s probably naggingly aware that it’s where his career peaked creatively. Which isn’t to say he shouldn’t still have known better. How often does good come from returning to old stomping grounds, let alone zeitgeist-defining pictures? Does anyone remember Texasville? If he’d gone back to Trainspotting ten years on, it would likely have seemed as unnecessary and dismissible as a More American Graffiti or Staying Alive, particularly given the Irvine Welsh sequel novel (Porno) no one was really very fussed by. But having two decades

Do you want to remember or do you want to forget?

Trance (2013)   National Treasure Danny Boyle is currently riding a wave of goodwill. The feting he received for his work on the Olympics* cemented a reputation that evolved from slightly arty populist to establishment darling (in the wake of his Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire). Despite the distracting surface details of his penchant for genre hopping and a magpie attitude to sound and vision, he’s known as a filmmaker informed by social conscience and, by consequence or distinct sensibility, the impulse of a provocateur. He gains credibility for turning down a knighthood and remaining entrenched in Britain (despite the occasional