Event review: Fast and Furious Live

The cars are the stars of the new Fast and Furious Live arena show

A NEW touring arena show based on the hit Fast and Furious movie franchise, Fast and Furious Live promises 'real action, real fast' via tyre-shredding stuntwork, high-tech special effects and storytelling dramatics.

The London premiere at O2 Arena last week proved to be a mixed bag: the 'real action' comes courtesy of the tightly choreographed driving displays at the show's core – expertly co-ordinated by Belfast-born stunt driver Chris Burns – which see multiple vehicles from the Fast and Furious films aping various set pieces from the franchise while skidding around the arena floor like frenzied four wheeled ballerinas.

Live stuntwork is enhanced by snazzy visual effects which seek to overcome the obvious spatial limitations at hand via state-of-the art projections and embedded on-car LEDs, plus clips of the actual movie stunts being recreated.

It's impressive to behold – at first – but your attention may begin to wander once it becomes clear that only carefully pre-planned health and safety-friendly crashes and smashes will be occurring during this two hour show's succession of well-rehearsed routines.

It's also unfair to expect Fast Live's drivers to compete with distracting footage of Hollywood budget-backed car chases while already hampered by the seriously speed-limiting confines of an indoor arena floor.

This was always going to prevent the show from truly delivering on its 'real fast' promise: however, Fast Live's biggest speed bumps are its woefully cheesy script, uneven pacing, tedious audience interaction sequences and a bizarre psychedelic interlude involving 'flying' cars that's pure dramatic Isopon.

While car-mad kids may well get all revved up by this show when it skids into Belfast's SSE Arena from May 4 to 6, those actually old enough to drive may be planning their route home well before the final handbrake turn.

:: – fifth and final Sunday evening show on sale now.

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