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Secret Cinema’s Guardians of the Galaxy reviewed


(Pocket-lint) – Secret Cinema has been going locations for some time now – from humble origins, the record of franchises that the immersive occasion titan has now labored with solely will get higher.

Having already conquered the universe of Star Wars and tied issues up with Netflix through Stranger Issues, its newest present in London brings Marvel into the fold. We headed to Guardians of the Galaxy: The Dwell Immersive Expertise (its full, wordy title) to get a way of how that partnership has formed up.

A complete new world

For these new to the idea, Secret Cinema provides you the possibility to immerse your self in a recreation of some a part of a fictional world. In previous circumstances that meant strolling round Star Wars’ Mos Eisley, or Blade Runner’s Los Angeles, seeing the sights and interacting with a solid of actors in character.


On this case, a few areas acquainted to Guardians of the Galaxy followers are open to discover, all housed in an industrial area close to Wembley.

It is all indoors, however that hasn’t stopped the Secret Cinema staff from magicking up some impressively otherworldly sights, from the space-snow of Contraxia to the glowing undercity of Nowhere.

There’s enjoyable signage in all places and a bunch of distracting nooks and crannies to discover for those who’re devoted sufficient to smell out each doable story lead.

That mentioned, we won’t say that the world lives as much as the heights of Secret Cinema’s work on Star Wars or Blade Runner, as an illustration – and which may properly be as a result of, for all its reputation, the cinematic world that the Guardians occupy is a slice much less vivid by comparability.

Nonetheless, even with that caveat, you may nonetheless discover this a very partaking place to only be in for a few hours, and that is aided by the ever-enthusiastic solid of actors.


Secret Cinema has clearly discovered that one of the simplest ways to interact a complete viewers of attendees within the story of its world is to offer them a central trigger to rally behind.

This trip, it is the concept that piratical Ravager clans, which attendees are every part of, have to band collectively towards the nefarious Collector. This “us towards the system” schtick is not very new at this stage, nevertheless it does work, so why repair it?

As all the time, this implies the order of the night is to talk to anybody in a adequate costume that they are in all probability an actor, to seek out out what is going on on and what motion you may get in on.

In the midst of a few hours, our group helped to rescue and smuggle away a kidnapping sufferer, negotiated a deal for a precious little bit of contraband, uncovered a secretive message from Rocket himself, and nonetheless discovered time to take pleasure in some downtime away from the pressures of the primary story.

The most effective Secret Cinema experiences go away you questioning what was in that curtained-off room you did not get into, or up that flight of stairs you did not handle to climb, and Guardians of the Galaxy does have that sense of “I’ d like to do that once more to see what could be totally different”. That is what we come to the films for, individuals.

That mentioned, the story itself is not precisely Pulitzer-quality, and issues have been just a bit bit muddled when it got here to collaborating in main story beats. Whereas these are properly choreographed, they get slightly chaotic when everybody’s pressed in attempting to look at, one thing that is exhausting to keep away from.

Issues come to an important head with an even bigger set-piece involving the Guardians doing Guardians issues, though on that be aware we have been barely upset to see Rocket and Groot sidelined – discovering a approach to do their characters utilizing sensible results would have been fairly one thing.

The stagecraft continues to be repeatedly thrilling, although, with particulars like Yondu’s whistle-steered Yaka Arrow shining of their verisimilitude.

To look at or to not watch

After its Stranger Issues experiment with shorter experiences that skip the “sitting down to look at a film” a part of its method, Secret Cinema has made that an optionally available additional for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Pay full whack and you will troop right into a screening room to look at the second film with some actually stable immersive lighting results, however you can too simply decide ​​to take part within the immersive expertise, after which go away.

We expect that it might be a mistake, on steadiness – having the ability to sit and see the world you’ve got explored in all its element is an effective way to bolster what you probably did throughout your time in it, and in addition a great way to unwind.

Once more, although, we’re slightly upset by the shortage of immersive extras, past some cool lighting. It could appear that the times of actors miming alongside to key moments or fights are completed, and whereas some might need discovered these goofy moments, we beloved them.

It means the movie feels extra separate from the expertise, which may be a part of the objective, however that may be a smoothing-out of a enjoyable quirky edge that the older reveals supplied.

Nonetheless, the truth is that even because it scales up there’s nonetheless distinctive alchemy at play while you commit correctly to a night with Secret Cinema. It is like taking part in Dungeons and Dragons with a complete set, solid and crew there to allow your exploits, and that is simply as enjoyable because it sounds.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.

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