I recently attended the premiere event for Fast & Furious – Supercharged at Universal Studios Hollywood a few days before it officially opened to the public, and the studio really pulled out all the stops for the event. Four “picture cars” were on display from the Fast & Furious franchise for photo ops. There were speeches by Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke, and NBC Universal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer, as well as appearances by Fast & Furious stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and Jason Statham.
A cool little stunt show kicked off the ceremony, which culminated in a car jumping and crashing through the Fast & Furious – Supercharged billboard amidst a shower of fireworks and confetti, and then it was off to our tour trams to head on over to the show building.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged takes over the area that used to house the Mummy tunnel tour finale. A fun, historic note: This structure used to house the avalanche ice tunnel as well as the Battlestar Galactica finale. It also provides a terrific closer to the world-famous tour.
Throughout the studio tour, Universal has placed a couple hints and glimpses of what is to come. Dominic Toretto’s Dodge Charger is parked hidden around a corner on Wisteria Lane, and there are video interruptions of the tour guide demanding that one of the park’s guests be turned over to the FBI (this part wasn’t real clear on the truncated studio tour we experienced). Suffice it to say, your studio tour tram is headed into a dilapidated garage, where the Fast & Furious gang is having a house party.
That first “house party” sequence of the attracion is weird and cheesy and filled with less-than-Oscar-worthy acting. But, then again, it’s Fast & Furious. You didn’t come here for Shakespearean theatre. You came for fast cars, explosions, and all the rest! In the second half of the experience, you get your wish. Your tour tram rockets out of the garage, chased by the bad guys (and their helicopters, and the Fast & Furious crew). Walls are demolished, cars are wrecked, helicopters are hung off of by your heroes, and unfinished freeway off-ramps are jumped all while your tram jerks and drops in sync with the action. If you’ve experienced the King Kong 360 3D experience during the studio tour, you already have an idea how Universal pulled this off.
The action you see is a combination of actual stunt work mixed in with some great (and some not-so-great) CGI. In my opinion, King Kong 360 3D has better-looking CGI, but the illusion of movement is better in Fast & Furious – Supercharged.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged is not a “ride”. Transformers The Ride-3D is a ride. Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem is a ride. Jurassic Park – The Ride is a ride. Fast & Furious – Supercharged? Not a ride.
But, it IS a whole lot of fun!
Hopefully, Universal Studios will iron out all the bugs in this finale (we had to go through the building three times, since it kept quitting on us halfway through the “super speed” area), because it really is a terrific way to end the tour on an exciting, fast-paced note. Definitely check it out.
We’d like to thank the folks at Universal Studios marketing and PR for helping make this preview event possible. Also, we would like to thank Norm from HorrorBuzz for sending over a few higher quality photos for us to use (our camera was having some issues).