Review: Star Trek Into Darkness – The 4D Experience

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By Giacomo Lee. Read the dark side to Seoul city in his novel Funereal, out now on Amazon UK & US.

A lot was made last month of Iron Man 3 being released in 4D in Japan, despite the fact South Korea’s had 4D cinemas for ages. 4D theatres consist of a 3D screening where seats rock around and ‘hit’ you in the back during action sequences, or tilt upwards, plus water sprays and flashing lights. Some films are released in 4D without 3D effects (e.g. Oblivion), but these are few and far between. Not all 3D films get the 4D treatment – only one or two Hollywood blockbusters per month.

The CGV cinema chain in Korea offers the same 4D experiences in all its 4DX branches, with my nearest being the one based directly above Wangsimni station in Seoul. I went there recently to catch Star Trek Into Darkness, sequel to the highly diverting reboot released in 2009. Good news is the sequel is just as entertaining, and the 4D is used sparingly to great effect. Spoilers herein…

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During the opening sequence, we’re treated to a shot of the USS Enterprise rising from the bottom of an alien ocean, and of course you get a nice burst of water in the face (don’t worry, your glasses dry out soon after).

As usual with 4D, the use of flashing lights add nothing to the film. You’ll see a few beams turn off and on to mirror flashing wall/door-embedded lights on screen, but it’s really a case of blink and you’ll miss it. I’m not asking for strobe effects, but a few blasts of blinding light during the Enterprise’s nasty ravaging by the USS Vengeance would have made the total chaos that ensues even more chilling.

I didn’t notice any smells being used in the screening, so don’t get your hopes up for a sniff of Cumberbatch sweat, or a fragrance of Klingon. You will though get a nice feeling of floating through space during take-off scenes, and a good pummeling from your chair when Kirk and Spock get a good beating off of Khan.

Star Trek Into Darkness is showing at CGV Wangsimi, located at Exit 12 of Wangsimini station, Line 1.

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