Fast & Furious Live at the O2 Arena
The Fast & Furious series could have had a perfect end with the seventh film, but it made a worldwide gross of just over $1.5 billion dollars so was it realistic to expect that Universal was going to put a cap on it? It was no surprise when a new trilogy was announced and, more recently, a spin-off. Now we have Fast & Furious Live, conceived by superfan Rowland French.
If it’s another cash-grab, the world premiere at the O2 won’t get Universal’s hopes up. Even with a Vin Diesel appearance announced in advance, plenty of tickets could have been bought at the door. The actor’s introduction was welcome, then Elysia Wren and Mark Ebulué took over hosting duties as street racer Sophia and federal agent Jimmy. The grating duo is at the centre of a storyline that brings them together to take down a criminal on America’s Most Wanted list with their skills in vehicular warfare and an advanced computer program. It teeters on parody with how it’s the most Fast & Furious storyline ever.
There may not be a more suitable literal and figurative image to sum the show up than that of supercars going round in circles. Without much space to toy around, how things generally went were: major action scene begins on screen (such as the submarine scene from F8, train heist in the fifth film, etc.), cars enter the arena in-sync, drive around, drivers shoot at each other as applicable, the scene continues and they mimic what’s going on, same again until the resolution. It’s basically Secret Cinema.
Audience engagement was through the use of blue and red voting cards and making as much noise as possible to speed onscreen cars up. Despite the crowd choosing for blue doors in a customisation sequence, red doors were fitted on – it was either a mistake or it’s all prefabricated. The latter seemed more likely.
Sometimes there’s a ballet in the motions of how the cars move around each other and sometimes the stunts are quite impressive, with vehicles set ablaze and stuntmen driven around whilst clinging on to a car door on the ground. The LED display and pyrotechnics are awesome too. Though none of it is likely to win over newcomers or even please the die-hards. The storyline, the music, the cars… all of it is Fast & Furious, yet this show is neither fast nor furious.
Photos: Timmsy/Backgrid and WireImage
Fast & Furious Live is at the O2 Arena from 19th until 21st January 2018 before touring the UK. For further information or to book visit the show’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Fast & Furious Live here: