Fast and Furious – Supercharged is a welcome addition to the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood. They are billing it as the Grand Finale of the tour, and it IS that – when it’s working!
The Studio Tour is now a full hour long, and includes not only a drive through several awesome sets and backdrops on the Universal Studios Backlot, but also KING KONG 360 3D, and now finishes with FAST & FURIOUS – SUPERCHARGED.
The video below has a bit of background on the ride itself, and a small preview. My review follows…
Here is my full ride review (stop reading if you don’t want spoilers):
The “ride” is introduced into the story of the Studio Tour earlier than the ride itself, when you see Dominic Toretto’s car (played in the movie by Vin Diesel). Your tram driver alerts security, and they go check it out.
Meanwhile, your Studio Tour continues. About 10 minutes later, security alerts the driver that the car shouldn’t be there and we should all be on the lookout for Toretto. Then, your driver drives the tram into a big warehouse where you “should be safe.”
After waiting there for a couple minutes, you drive into the next section. Doors close in front and behind your tram, and the actors in the movie appear in the warehouse right next to you! It’s using invisible screen technology, but the effect is pretty neat. You’ve entered a dance party in the warehouse, which of course is broken up by Vin Diesel (Dominic “Dom” Toretto), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce) and Luke Evans (Owen Shaw).
Then the screen immerses you 360 degrees exactly like the King Kong experience, and your tram is now zipping down L.A. freeways with all the Fast & Furious cars and vehicles chasing each other all around you. Helicopters zip by, armored tanks almost crush you. The tram is on a track that makes it feel as if you are moving the same speed as the cars around you, and the illusion actually works great on the tram! I think the effect is even better than King Kong, and certainly more believable.
Now, the only caveat – and hopefully this is only a buggy opening thing – the ride tends to break down a lot. For us, it didn’t work the first time. We went into the first warehouse, then waited in the 2nd warehouse and nothing happened. The tram driver then brought us around for a second pass and it worked fine that time. One of our colleagues who attended the Grand Opening had to try three times before it worked. Hopefully these bugs will be fixed by the time massive crowds overtake the experience this summer.