The idea of putting the film into a live action arena makes so much sense that it's a surprise it hasn't happened sooner. You get the authentic sounds and smells that even the best cinemas can't convey (yet) and a sense of genuine danger which only a live automotive event can provide.
Anyway, to the show itself. Or rather, the dress rehearsal at the NEC. We spent a day with the team, looking around the cars and watching the stunts, so here's what you have to look forward to if you're going to Fast and Furious Live.
In the cars are 11 stunt drivers, everyone from professional stunt drivers to drift champs, who had to audition for their part and endured four months of training before rehearsals. Because even though you might associate the NEC with a huge exhibition space, the overall arena doesn't look much bigger than an ice hockey rink - powersliding a 350Z around that takes some skill. And bravery.
Of course we'd all like to think that we could do a bit of stunt driving if we tried hard enough, thanks to a misspent youth of handbrake turns and one or two jammy drifts. But the level of precision on show at Fast and Furious Live is something else, the manoeuvres centimetre perfect and the stunts seemingly flawless. To achieve all this in a pack of cars, while remembering the choreography and then jumping into a completely different vehicle for another act, is a display of remarkable talent. They could be doing it in Fiesta vans around cones in the car park and you'd pay to watch because the driving is so good.
Being a dress rehearsal, featuring the mishaps and delays that those days feature, we didn't see the whole show. But there was more than enough to be very pleased by in this taste. We've not even mentioned the submarine yet (or the jet Charger that goes with it), the Rio bank job, or the tank. Or the Buick Gran National GNX. Swish.
There was every possibility that the Fast & Furious Live show could be a bit naff, a tacky homage that only aimed to cash in on the franchise. But, while it's never going to be a subtle and emotional stage effort, the originality, innovation and engagement of Fast & Furious Live should ensure nobody leaves disappointed. It moves the films successfully into another arena (pun kind of intended) and we can't wait to see the full thing on Friday. See you at the O2...