It’s the natural progression for the Fast & Furious movie franchise… making like Disney On Ice and heading to an arena near you.
But Fast & Furious Live, described in the promotional material as ‘Cirque de Soleil with cars’, isn’t hauling in the five-star reviews.
It debuted at the O2 arena in London last weekend, but despite an appearance by the franchise’s star Vin Diesel to introduce the action, according to The Guardian ‘large sections of seating in the O2 were closed off; entire rows in the rest of it were empty’.
This may have been a blessing, as its critic Ryan Gilbey then proceeds to details the show’s various shortcomings.
“On the limited space of the arena floor, cars are reduced to turning in circles at low speed in front of a giant screen playing movie clips. A man clinging to the grille on a lorry just isn’t that impressive when the vehicle in question is moving at seven miles an hour. Fast it isn’t,” he writes.
“A pre-show warning advising us not to mimic the stunts in the show is laughable when the vehicles here move only slightly faster than the queue out of the car park. The only danger in Fast & Furious Live is that the audience might die of carbon monoxide poisoning. Or boredom.”
He is, sadly, not alone.
Adam White in the Daily Telegraph goes on: “The show’s greatest disappointments are the very things that ought to be its main attractions. Confined to a relatively small arena floor, its vehicular stars dart sluggishly back and forth when they’re moving at all, with rear projection and sound effects deployed to aid the illusion of speed.
“As a result Fast & Furious Live often feels like an elaborate if lethargic playground game, one hinging almost entirely on imagination. The enthusiasm is palpable, but you can practically see the finger-wagging adult standing off stage and instructing everyone to slow down to prevent injury.”
To be fair, a bunch of fans seemed to enjoy the action, however.
Great night at the first ever Fast&Furious Live pic.twitter.com/x4NIwyRIzz
— Oliver Coleman (@OliverC_97) January 20, 2018
Tonight I loved living my life one quarter mile at a time. Fast & Furious Live was spectacular. I had actual chills the whole time. I’ve never seen anything like this. Paul would be so proud. #FastLive pic.twitter.com/9E20mD40im
— Britney (@BritJeanSpears9) January 19, 2018
Just returned from the O2 seeing Fast&Furious Live with @DanFuller85, amazing show with great production and effects, not just for petrolheads. Catch it if you can.
— Ian Saunders Cooper (@saunders_cooper) January 20, 2018
But others seemed to side with the critics…
How much you enjoy Fast and Furious Live pretty much depends on how funny you find this picture of a missile ‘chasing’ a car around in a circle for ages or them floating full size inflatable cars above your head to recreate the bit where the cars jump out of the plane. pic.twitter.com/keW6LWntK2
— Adam Riches (@TigcoRiches) January 20, 2018
— Nick Prangnell (@nickprangnell) January 21, 2018
Fast and Furious Live…didn’t work for me…..more like …Slow and a little annoyed. Stunt drivers were great….”a bit of a panto”
— Lee Podger (@Pleep68) January 20, 2018
It may be worth waiting for the next movie, Fast & Furious 9, due out in April, 2020, instead.