Here’s the perfect way to see ‘The Fate of the Furious’

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Universal

4DX combines motion, fog, rain, lightning, scent, wind, and other elements to basically make you feel like you’re living a movie along with the characters. The technology has been around since 2009, but it’s getting bigger and spreading to more theaters across the US. For now, you can catch a 4DX screening at nine theaters in the US.

I watched “The Fate of the Furious” in 4DX to tell the world what it’s like.

And it’s overwhelming at first. Imagine Star Tours at Disney World, but for two and a half hours. And with Vin Diesel, The Rock, Jason Statham, and the “Fast and Furious” “family.”

When the seats first started moving and vibrating, I was rolling my eyes. And also thinking about which bag I wanted to throw up in. But after about a half-hour into “The Fate of the Furious,” the movements felt right, and not sudden or abnormal.

I wanted to go into this experience blind. My expectations were exceeded. I thought teverything would be more subtle. Like the movie itself, 4DX is anything but subtle. It is exactly like a thrill ride. So if those make you vomit, maybe stick to a relaxed, regular movie.

Because “The Fate of the Furious” relies so much on action that the 4DX seats can easily emulate, it was the perfect movie for it. A movie like “La La Land”? Not so much.

Here’s what it was like to see “The Fate of the Furious” in 4DX:


Before you enter the theater, there’s a (long) warning.

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Carrie Wittmer

I’m probably the only person who has ever read the whole thing. I thought it was a bit dramatic, but I would soon be proved wrong.


One perk to the “you must be this high to ride” rule? No small kids talking during your movie.

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Carrie Wittmer

If there were scents during this movie, I definitely didn’t notice them.

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Carrie Wittmer

There are assigned seats, which is really convenient.

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My wonderful assigned seat was C8.
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Carrie Wittmer

The only problem is that assigned seats made some people feel like they could roll into the movie 45 minutes after showtime and still have their really good seats right next to me! There was a cruel humor in watching them get into their seats in the middle of the row while the seats were vibrating and moving around at a rapid pace.


Most people in the theater were trying it out for the first time.

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Universal

I got to the theater about 20 minutes before showtime. A man and a woman a few seats down from me laughed uncontrollably when they walked into the theater.

“At least we don’t have to wear any f—ing glasses,” the woman said.


You should share your 4DX viewing experience with a packed theater. You will have a bond that you can never explain to anyone who wasn’t there.

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These seats would eventually be filled with strangers I connected with over random splashes of water.
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Carrie Wittmer

The audience instantly connected. It wasn’t a sold-out show – there were a few empty seats – but as soon we got our little preview of the 4DX features before the coming attractions, the audience was in this together. People were making loud comments and cheering, and I for once in my life didn’t want to throw my popcorn at them.


But the audience interactions can also ruin it completely.

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universal pictures

There was a group of drunk guys in the row behind me (they showed up 15 minutes after the movie started, after about 20 minutes of trailers). After a character said the line, “If Brian were here, he’d know what to do,” one of them shouted, “He’s dead!” The audience booed him, and we as a group didn’t bounce back from that moment until the submarine.


You’ll get (kind of) wet.

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Everyone has the option to turn the water feature on or off, though I’m not entirely sure you’d be completely safe if you turned it off.
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Carrie Wittmer

The water feature was sad. I was expecting more and so was the rest of the audience. In the first action sequence of the movie, a car that’s on fire is submerged into water, and we didn’t get splashed. The audience was ready for it, and when it didn’t come, there was a collective dramatic sigh. When we did get our first splash in the final action sequence, there was a disappointed sigh. (Also, I still have no idea where the water was coming from, and it bothers me.)


You’ll actually feel like you’re in a car.

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Universal

In 2D or 3D or IMAX, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie as much. I actually would’ve hated this movie (minus every second Jason Statham is on the screen – he is perfect) if I hadn’t had so much fun getting whiplash in my seat.


Your seat will punch you.

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YouTube/Universal

Yes, you feel the punches. And there are a lot in “The Fate of the Furious.” The back of your seat pokes you repeatedly. It’s not the best feature, but it did relieve me of some knots in my back and neck, so I don’t have to pay for a massage anymore.


Your feet and legs will get tickled.

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Universal Pictures

Or at least that’s what I think is going on. I was wearing boots, so my precious calves and ankles didn’t get to experience the tickle feature as intensely as others.


Sometimes it’s excessive.

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Universal

But so is this entire movie. There’s some kind of mist that blows at inexplicable times. In a scene in which Vin Diesel’s character Dom Toretto drops a few items, the chairs vibrated every single time one of those items hit the ground. And every single time a car is on the screen – even if it is very far in the distance – the seats move as if one of the main characters were behind the wheel.