I did the 4DX experience and all I got was a lap full of popcorn.
Well, I didn’t – but the person next to me did. I was eating corn chips.
The latest in a cinematic experience has been released at selected Event Cinemas, making the next move to bring bums back on seats and air-conditioned comfort.
Officially named 4DX – this form of cinematic presentation is not new. It has been around for a few years internationally, and there’s some experience in a minor form at a theme park or two, this experience at Event Cinemas is much more extreme.
Specially designed motion chairs move and mimick certain moments in the movie you are screening, along with wind, fog, mist and water that sprays alongside or directly at you to give you a more authentic interaction, as well as light flashes to stimulate the visionary senses.
I was grateful enough to be invited by Event Cinemas to see a preview screening of Jumanji: The Next Level, in the freshly built 4DX cinema at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast. I haven’t even seen the 2017 reboot, so I was going to be in for a treat on both counts.
After being treated to some yummy nitro-popcorn, which is already popped and flavoured popcorn, re-cooked in liquid nitrogen and consumed with extra crunch, we received our 3D glasses and went to our designated seats.
This 128 seated cinema was very spacious, with the seats grouped up in rows of four. So instead of individual seats moving, the four of you will move in time together.
The seats are raised, above a solid platform. The foot rests have plenty of space between the seat and the carpeted floor. But I would not recommend placing anything underneath the feet area, as the seats will lean forward quite a fair bit. Each seat has a cup holder, but I recommend not to have an open drink, such as a slurpee or soft drink with the lid open. This may end up spilling on your lap.
The seats are a tad stiff, but they’re brand new. When you rest your head on the head rest, there are two tiny jets that will lay around your neck area. They will jet bursts of air.
On your arm rest, there is a button to turn the water on and off. This is to control the fine water mist and squirts that will happen in the movie where needed. I left mine on to experience the fun. You can deactivate the water if you do find it annoying.
A disclaimer message will be shown, saying they do not recommend you bringing in your coffee. Plus other issues such as if you’ve had surgery, or not to place your young children on your lap, or if you have motion sickness… the usual warning signs of that the 4DX experience will be more than what you think.
After trailers and a 4DX preview demonstration to show what you’re in for, Jumanji: The Next Level starts and you’re thrown straight into the action.
Picking up directly from the previous film (apparently – I haven’t seen it!), the seats shake, rattle and tilt to fun and entertaining levels. From characters being kicked in the back, the seat will poke you in the back. When the emu pokes at the protagonist, jets of air pop out near your shoulders. Dune buggies making sharp rights? So does your seat. Camera panning or zooming in or out? Your whole seat row leans back or forward with a ‘wow’ factor feeling. Climbing up a mountain of snow? Cool air blows from the side of the room. Gusts of fog seep up from the front of the cinema to give scenes an eerie feeling, and lights brightly flash to echo any storms or startling scenes.
And all this lasts on and off throughout the feature of the film.
The 4DX seating at times felt quite rough, so you will get a kick out of it if you’re an adult, but more of a thrill will come to kids or teenagers. If you think you’re not getting enough movement from the impacts – watch everyone jolt their heads back and forth, or watch your drink nearly come out of the holder in your arm rest.
At the time of this experience, prices were roughly $32 a ticket, which in some areas is cheaper than a singular Gold Class ticket. While I checked out the Pacific Fair cinema, check Event’s site to see if there is one in your area.
4DX is something you need to do at least once. But choose your movie wisely. Obviously they won’t utilise the experience with movies like The Notebook, but movies like Star Wars IX or Bad Boys For Life would be fantastic to try out. Think hardcore action, and you’ll have fun.