It was my last night after 8 long months in China. I had been an adventurous traveler, so I just felt like an easy going night. It was then I decided to see the latest Star Wars film in the fullest of 4DX glory. [MILD SPOILERS AHEAD]
4DX expands on 3D by providing the movie-goer an additional dimension to the cinematic experience. If the idea of watching a film is to escape, or enter a dream-like reality, there is no greater distraction to that idea then 4DX. It’s like a snooze alarm perpetually waking you from visual slumber. That’s if a snooze alarm utilised chair and feet movement, vibration and tickling; water, air and scent spray; smoke machines; strobes; and other effects to emulate rainstorms, snow or lightning. Well… all that combined with 3D. That sounds like a terrible, yet exciting snooze alarm.
So how was the experience?
After rushing down a Big Mac from next door, I entered the UME Cinema located in Shuangjing, Beijing. The admission price was ¥120, four times more expensive then watching the film in peasant 3D in Chengdu.
As I entered the cinema with my 3D glasses in hand, I already notice that the seats are greatly customised.
As the movie starts in the village on Jakku, the chair is subtly moving you forwards and backwards. It is almost unnoticeable. There are definite rumbles and vibrations in the seats.
Immediately as Kylo Ren and his storm trooper army descend to the village, a quick burst of air and water shoot into your face. This feature occurred commonly throughout the film.
As the battle in the opening of the film continues, blaster fire was complimented with a series of disorientating ‘lightning flashes’ from strobes situated throughout the cinema. Then, as we are first introduced to the film’s antagonist, Kylo Ren, the sweet scent of ambiguous flowers is shot straight up my nostrils. This is combined with a hazy puff of smoke from the smoke machines nearby the screen.
Although 4DX is an insanely fun experience, within the first 20 minutes of Star Wars I knew it might be too much to handle. Perhaps woofing down a Big Mac wasn’t the best idea before entering, or that 2.5 hours is too long in an additional dimension.I’m also surprised they don’t hand out motion sickness bags with your 3D glasses and ticket. As a cinematic experience, 4DX is definitely not for those who wish to relax and watch a movie, but if you feel like trying something new or different then it is a lot of fun!