Review: Transformers The Ride 3D at Universal Studios Hollywood

It is always exciting whenever Universal Studios Hollywood opens up a new attraction. At least for me there is still a sense of joy in their year round celebration of all things Hollywood – even if the look inside “film-making” is more than a little false. Yet they still offer an entertaining look at the many great films to come out of the studios through rides, shops and games. This includes the recent addition of KING KONG 3D to the studio tour which is a real treat – that giant black widow creeps me the f*ck out. And even “The Simpsons” ride – while there are many who miss BACK TO THE FUTURE – is pretty darn exhilarating. So what about the idea of bringing fans into the world of TRANSFORMERS… bring it on I say!

Recently, JoBlo.com was invited to get an early look at the massive undertaking which replaced the less than stellar BACKDRAFT attraction and special effects stages. Sure fire is awesome, but after a couple of times the spark is gone. In TRANSFORMERS THE RIDE-3D, theme park guests get to hop inside an EVAC vehicle and make their way into a magnificently detailed loading station – with the help of some top-notch visual effects. Once inside you are pulled into what is a visually astonishing world, one that feels very appropriate for the TRANSFORMERS universe that Michael Bay has presented to us in three feature films. Add to that the 3D experience and it is certainly one of the most immersive experiences that Universal Studios has yet to offer.

TRANSFORMERS places visitors in the heart of the action as they – along with the help of Bumblebee and Optimus Prime - must protect the AllSpark from falling into Decepticon hands. When Ravage is able to steal the AllSpark, we find ourselves in the battle to protect it from enemy control. After Ravage takes it, Bumblebee tears the mechanical beast apart yet all is not well. Soon after, we find our yellow and black hero kicking Sideways ass thus gaining control of the object. He then passes it to our EVAC vehicle and off we go. Along our journey we battle familiar faces to keep the AllSpark safe. This includes the awesome Starscream, the ever so dangerous Blackout and of course, the big guy himself… Megatron!

This incredible world is so detailed and so grand, there were numerous times that I had to flinch or look away. When there are metal blades crashing into us right before our 3D glass covered eyes, it is by far the most effective use of the technology I’ve ever seen. It is unbelievable how vivid and expansive this battleground is thanks to the beyond incredible effects. This is certainly going to be a bench mark when it comes to rides of this nature in the future, and a better use of 3D technology than you’d ever see in the theatres.

TRANSFORMERS THE RIDE-3D may be one of the most impressive visual experiences I’ve ever had at an amusement park. However it is a loud and jarring experience that twists you around and shakes you up. The problem is the one time after you are giving the AllSpark and speed off to safety is the only time you really feel like you are moving. The rest of ride your EVAC vehicle is thrown around, punched, pounced upon and shaken like you and the rest of the folks in your car are in a living Jiffy Pop container. Being that this is a hybrid of an actual moving vehicle – the ride’s car does actually move a short distance throughout the soundstage – and a massive simulation, you’d think there would be more to it with this immense world in which you are placed inside. You really don’t get to see enough of it.

If you don’t like rides like Disneyland’s “STAR TOURS” or Universal’s own “THE SIMPSONS,” this will be equivalent of a living hell for you. However, as a fan of both rides, this visually impressive juggernaut of a ride failed to really thrill that action loving kid in me. This is not to say that it is necessarily a bad ride, not at all. In fact, this is sure to become a staple on returning visits due to the visuals alone. It just would have been nice to feel the rush of excitement; you know the kind that you get when you fly past the wanton destruction at incredible speeds? I want to feel like I am moving quickly with the occasional pounding as opposed to moving for two seconds and then being constantly beat down. The monotony gets a little tiresome.

TRANSFORMERS THE RIDE may not be the end all thrill ride of the century, it may not even always be fun, yet at least the awe-inspiring visual feast is worth standing in line for when you visit Universal Studios Hollywood. TRANSFORMERS THE RIDE-3D is currently being previewed and it officially opens tomorrow -- Friday, May 25th. Watch out for those pesky Decepticons and check out the "MAKING OF" video below...

Extra Tidbit: I kinda dig Bumblebee. Who is your favorite Transformer?
Source: JoBlo.com



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