According to my 6-year old son our first ever 4DX Cinema experience was epic, and he loved the water and that is simply the end of the blog…. Of course I couldn’t really write about the best ever cinema experience we both have had in one simple line; but in the eyes of a six-year old it really is that simple.
I have taken my child to the cinema on numerous occasions and each time we have visited we have barely watched any of the films. I have tried many genres from animation, comedy and action but each film has been a wasted expense, and we have spent most of the time going back and forth to the lobby or for a toilet break, and using the theatre as a gymnasium has been more entertaining than actually watching the film or sitting still for any length of time. Needless to say when I became aware of 4DX cinema I hoped that this might offer my family a new way of being able to watch a film in the cinema from start to finish; and to actually enjoy it.
So what is 4DX Cinema?
The best way I can explain this new and exciting episode of cinema is to take you through my experience, and how it proved without fail to make my fidgety 6-year old enjoy; no let me get this right; ABSOLUTELY fall in love with cinema!
Cineword in Cardiff is the host to the first ever 4DX experience in Wales after its release in England and Scotland. Originating in South Korea it has now been integrated into cinemas across the world.
Screen 7 at Cineworld in Cardiff has been specially adapted for a 4DX cinema experience and features all the multi-sensory equipment from hydraulic chairs, wind turbines, smoke machines, water, smell machines and strobes. You are greeted by a massive 4DX neon sign with a list of special precautions and warnings; it almost fools you into believing you are about to step onto the Oblivion Roller Coaster at Alton Towers; its time to ride….
We grabbed our Popcorn and made our way to the auditorium settling ourself into the special seats. I had done a little research before our visit and I began our experience by pointing out all the special adjustments to the theatre and what might happen and I could feel his excitement starting to grow. The seats in the theatre felt almost akin to a fairground attraction with special platforms for your feet, and were very wide and comfortable; much better than your average seat. As the previews began you were reminded on two occasions of some rules and guidelines that needed to be followed from not standing on the lower platform and remaining seated unless the rest room was required; was I about to watch a film in its entirety without trying to keep my child in his seat?
I had decided that we were going to get our first experience of 4DX cinema by watching the film ‘XXX Return of Xander Cage’ which is probably not everyone’s go to film but for my action mad son it seemed the perfect choice. As the starting credits began you could feel a hydraulic brake release in the chair and it began to lean ever so slightly left, right, back and forward as it followed the opening credits which were stylised in the form of a long lit bomb fuse waiting to explode. One lean-to the left ‘BANG’ a title appeared, a lean-to the right navigated by a lean back ‘BANG’ a title appeared; 4DX in 3D was definitely an experience we should have tried earlier.
As the film begins ‘Vin Diesel’ appears strangely on top of a Satellite Ariel on Ski’s which he jumps from and free falls through the air and as he lands he continues to ski down through a forest on loose ground. This is where 4DX begins to kick in as your seat begins to lean and arch following his movements. Every crash to the floor you can feel a force inside of your seat that gravitates its way into your back (It does not hurt by the way), a rumbling vibration in the seat pad heightens your senses as he goes over stones on the ground, and the wind turbines make you feel the speed as he is skiing downhill. 4DX is one of the most immersive cinema experiences I have ever had, and it gets you starting to feel like you have just been given the magic ticket from the ‘Last Action Hero’ when the young Austin O’Brien who played Danny in the film actually became part of the film in real life; was my Cineworld Cardiff ticket starting to shine….?
I am not going to make this a review of ‘XXX Return of Xander Cage’ as this is not my intention and well there will be no spoilers here! The truth is I am going to jump to some key points where 4DX really did get our Adrenalin flowing, and for us the fight scenes really did work especially for my 6-year old son as 4DX really did feel like you were involved in the fight. Every kick you could feel a force inside your chair towards your back, every punch you could feel in the seat pad towards your legs, every shot bursts of air came flying through your hair as if the bullets were shooting passed your head. We were that immersed into the film that at one point my boy got carried away and had a mini fight with his seat as if it were one of the bad guys from XXX. Onwards into the film Xander Cage takes on a Jet Ski and as he lands onto the water bursts of water spray you in the face, and as he jumps and crashes back onto the waves a squirt of water is directed upwards and it lands onto you from above as if you had been splashed by the landing. Now I am not saying you are going to need a rain mac at this point because we are only talking water droplets and mist but it really does get you into the action of the film, and my boy absolutely loved it. Light strobes then go off as someone is crashed into a computer screen which pushes you further into the film followed by a speeding van driving across a gravel road. At this point in the film we almost jump out of our seats as something hits the back of our legs. It felt like the gravel hitting our ankles and you could feel a rumble through your seat pad as if you were experiencing every bump of the tarmac and each pot hole.
The one thing that I was left wanting more of was the ‘Smell-O-Vision’ as I wanted to smell the Chicken cooking in the kitchen at one point in the film, and well maybe that is one customer recommendation a bit too far. 4DX lives up to all expectations in both mine and my fidgety 6-year old sons books for not only was this the first film he sat through but he experienced so much more.
His words were as we came out of the film when I asked him to rate his experience out of 10 he said “No mum its 100 out of 100….”!
4DX has to be experienced and is worth every penny; your immersive experience is waiting for you don’t make it wait too long.