Review: Fast & Furious Live, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

A Fast & Furious car.
A Fast & Furious car.
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An explosion of fast cars, machine gun fire, roaring engines and the air lightly fragranced with the acrid smell of gasoline and gunsmoke … Fast & Furious Live is a teenage boy’s dream night.

Convinced I was about to be served up a lame procession of souped-up boy racers tootling about the arena floor under the Fast & Furious banner I felt for my wide-eyed 14-year-old on the edge of his seat as we awaited the ‘action’ to begin.

I mean, surely the real-life confines of the glorified aircraft hangar that is the arena couldn’t possibly do justice to the computer-generated high-octane action of the movie franchise?

Oh, how wrong I was.

The show was, like the movies, a visual spectacular. This was a perfectly synchronised mix of high-tech lighting and movie projection with live action stunts and, of course, roaring racing cars.

And, unlike the movies, this was clever and innovative!

Fast & Furious Live poster

Fast & Furious Live poster

I mean, they even turned the arena floor into a frozen sea with a submarine crashing through the ice in set-piece spectacle which ended in a rocket flying around the auditorium before sinking the vessel in a flash of flames.

The pace was unrelenting. There were machine gun-toting bad guys leaping from car to car in a hail of bullets as wheel-spinning multi-coloured mean machines tore around belching smoke and flames at every turn.

And, get this, there was even a story to the whole shooting match! A convoluted and none too convincing story, I grant you, but who cares when a car can fly? Yep, at one stage they recreated a famous Fast & Furious scene in which vehicles are dropped from a moving plane in the stratosphere and, I kid you not, we had cars flying above the audience! For the life of me I don’t know how they did it … I could see no strings.

At various times in the show famous faces from the movie franchise appeared on a big screen to wax lyrical about the Fast & Furious ‘family’, even the aptly-named Vin Diesel rocked up to address the audience.

Isaac Ord, 14, at Fast & Furious Live, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle.

Isaac Ord, 14, at Fast & Furious Live, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle.

At this point, I have to admit to never having watched a Fast & Furious movie from start to finish. But, hey, it must have something.

I mean, if Citizen Kane was so good, how come they only made one? Where’s the sequel Citizen Kane 2 - We’ve Found the Sledge? The Fast & Furious franchise has boasted at least eight movies - even Jaws only managed to get to number four before sinking without a trace.

Its popularity is undoubted, but this live show really captured the spirit of the movies and the audience lapped it up.

As well as the pyrotechnics and screeching handbrake-turns on display, the cast played their part in whipping the crowd into a frenzy of screaming and shouting with some audience participation set pieces.

When the curtain came down on the show, I had been converted. The show had brought out the teenage boy racer hidden in my heart. I’ll be buying a nitro booster for my Corsa on Monday.