I had the opportunity to watch READY PLAYER ONE on a 4DX screen and I have words about it.
Before I get into sharing my experience of watching Ready Player One on a 4DX screen, let me first say that I had already seen Ready Player One prior to this screening, in 2D on a standard screen. I had already enjoyed the movie the first time around and was already planning on seeing it again (given the amount of pop culture references in the movie, it deserved at least a second going, anyway.)
Now, you may be asking, what the frak is 4DX? Well, if you’re familar with rides like Disneyland’s Star Tours, the Indiana Jones Ride, or Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, then you have some idea of what it is. What happens in a 4DX theater is that the movie you’re watching is augmented with several “environmental” effects through the use of seats that move on a platform and are equipped with special massage-like features built into the seat, wind fans, scent generators, and misting sprays.
I came into the theater with the understanding of all this, however, actually experiencing it is something else, and I have to say that it was an overall fun experience, with a few caveats. One thing to note first off, is that the theater has safety guidelines signs for those going into the 4DX screen, and you might want to take a moment to actually read them. Of course, I did not, and hence my unlidded cup full of water was moved to the empty chair next to me, splashing water quite humorously all over the armrest and then some (sorry, Cinepolis!)
The screens were pretty large, but nothing overly huge like an IMAX screen, and the sound quality was perfectly fine. One thing I immediately noticed was the seats are nice, but they are not cushioned like standard theaters are for the sake of allowing you to feel all the motions and vibrations of the mechanized chair.
The 4DX introduction clip that Cinepolis uses gives you a glimpse of all the motions, sounds, and environmental effects that can happen during the movie, and to be honest, it was surprising and funny enough that I and another newbie in the theater had to laugh about it.
However, once the movie started, I was ready to really experience 4DX. With an action-packed movie like Ready Player One, I can say I was not disappointed. The seats moved and vibrated and jabbed succinctly with what was going on in the screen. The mist sprayed when they were supposed to and although the first time was a bit of a surprise, it wasn’t too overwhelming and didn’t drench your face. As far as scents went, I was wary of several scenes where that might be an inconvenience, but either I didn’t smell any such offensive odors, or they didn’t include that.
Most of the experience was in the seats themselves. They vibrated for all of the movie’s action sequences as well as many of the other sequences. And there were times when I felt like I was about to slide off the seat. I thought maybe there was a seatbelt that I missed latching.
Overall, it was a fun “ride” and worked really well with Ready Player One’s fast-pace and action. But this is not for everyone, especially ones who are highly sensitive to motion and/or those who have a low tolerance to the visual enhancements of 3D. And if you have a hard time sitting in a regular movie for 2 hours, whether your butt or back gets sore, it will be even more so in the chairs in a 4DX theater.
But if you’re up for it, I’d definitely recommend trying 4DX at least once, and with a movie like Ready Player One, or whatever action-packed blockbuster is coming soon.
There are currently ten 4DX theaters in the U.S. which you can find here.