Secret Cinema’s Marvel team-up works well on Guardians of the Galaxy

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Secret Cinema's Marvel team-up
Secret Cinema's Marvel team-up

Secret Cinema has been hitting the sights for a while now – from its humble origins, the list of franchises the titan of immersive events has worked with now only gets better.

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Having conquered the Star Wars universe and connecting the dots with Netflix via Stranger Things, their latest London show brings Marvel into the fold.

A whole new world

For those new to the concept, the secret cinema offers the chance to immerse yourself in a recreation of some part of a fictional world. In the past, that meant wandering around Mos Eisley from Star Wars, or Los Angeles from Blade Runner, seeing the sights and interacting with a cast of costumed actors.

In this case, you can explore a couple of places known to Guardians of the Galaxy fans, all of them located in an industrial space near Wembley.

It’s all inside, but that hasn’t stopped the team at Secret Cinema from creating some stunning otherworldly vistas, from the space snow of Contraxia to the glowing underground city of Nowhere.

Secret Cinema's Marvel team

There are fun signs everywhere and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore if you’re dedicated enough to sniff out all the possible story clues.

That said, we can’t say the world lives up to Secret Cinema’s work on Star Wars or Blade Runner, for example, and that could be because, despite its popularity, the cinematic world the Guardians occupy is a bit less vivid in comparison.

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However, despite this warning, the viewer will find a really attractive place to be for a couple of hours, to which the always enthusiastic cast of actors contributes.

Storyville

Secret Cinema has realized that the best way to engage an entire audience in the story of their world is to give them a central cause to rally around.

This time, it’s about the idea that the Ravager pirate clans, of which the attendees are a part, must unite against the nefarious Collector. This “us against the system” scheme isn’t very new at this point, but it works, so why fix it?

Secret Cinema's Marvel team

As always, this means the order of the night is to chat with anyone in a costume good enough that they’re probably an actor, to find out what’s going on and what action you can get in on.

Over the course of a couple of hours, our group helped rescue and smuggle a kidnapping victim, negotiated a deal for some valuable contraband, discovered a secret message from Rocket himself, and still found time to enjoy some time. of idle away from the pressures of the main story.

The best Secret Cinema experiences leave you wondering what was in that curtained room you didn’t go into, or that flight of stairs you didn’t make it up, and Guardians of the Galaxy has that “I’d like to do this again tonight” feeling. see what would be different.” That’s why we come to the movies, people.

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That said, the story itself isn’t exactly Pulitzer quality, and things were a bit fuzzy when it came to participating in major story moments. Although these are well choreographed, they do get a bit chaotic when everyone is pressed trying to watch, something that’s hard to avoid.

Things come to a head with a major set piece involving the Guardians doing Guardian things, though in that regard we were a bit disappointed to see Rocket and Groot being left out – finding a way to make their characters using practical effects It would have been a very good thing.

However, the staging remains exciting, with details like Yondu’s whistle, Yaka Arrow, shining for its verisimilitude.

To see or not to see

After its experiment with Stranger Things with shorter experiences that omit the “sit down and watch a movie” part of its formula, Secret Cinema has made that an optional extra for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Secret Cinema's Marvel team

If you pay full price, you’ll enter a screening room to watch the second movie with some solid immersive lighting effects, but you can also opt to join the immersive experience and then walk away.

We think that would be a mistake, as being able to sit back and see the world you’ve explored in full detail is a great way to reinforce what you’ve done during your time in it, and also a great way to unwind.

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Again, though, we’re a bit disappointed by the lack of immersive extras, other than some cool lighting. Gone are the days of actors mimicking key moments or fights, it seems, and while some might have found those moments ridiculous, we loved them.

This means the movie feels more detached from the experience, which might be part of the point, but it’s a softening of a fun, quirky twist that the old series offered.

Still, the reality is that even when scaled up, there’s still a unique alchemy at play when you properly commit to a night out with Secret Cinema. It’s like playing Dungeons and Dragons with all the scenery, cast and crew to facilitate your exploits, and that’s about as much fun as it sounds.