64°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

What it’s like to ride ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in 4DX in Las Vegas

We’ve been denied The Bottom Tickler.

Sure, it sounds like the name of a D-list supervillain. Or the title of one of those true-crime movies on Lifetime. But it’s cutting-edge technology, nonetheless.

If ever there were a city that should have been able to support such a thing, it’s Las Vegas. Yet, when CJ 4DPLEX unveiled its 4DX movie machinery Friday inside Auditorium 4 at Red Rock Resort — equipment that includes seats that move in sync with the film while air blasts your head, fog rolls in and, for some reason, water pelts you during rainy scenes — there was no Bottom Tickler.

Apparently that’s an option that theater owner Regal declined.

Instead, we’re supposed to make do with something called The Bottom Shaker.

What are we, animals?

Motion pictures

It’s been a long road from 4DX’s South Korean roots to Las Vegas. Launched in 2009, the experience didn’t secure a permanent foothold in America until 2014 with a theater in downtown Los Angeles. Five years later, the Red Rock venue is still a rarity in the U.S.

I’ve been sampling the equipment at CinemaCon at Caesars Palace for years, but that’s as part of three-minute demonstrations. How do all those effects hold up during the three-hour “Avengers: Endgame”? The simple answer is, it’s a lot.

A 4DX screening is closer to a theme park attraction than a traditional movie.

At $22.90 for a matinee and $24.90 in the evening, that amounts to a $12 surcharge compared with a regular screening at Red Rock and an $8 add-on to 3D shows.

Far from the plush recliners that have become commonplace throughout the valley, the seats require you to step up into them and are comfortable only in certain positions. Four to a pod, the chairs move as one as they pitch, roll and heave. Depending on your constitution, the seats may not be all that heaves.

In addition to the fog and rain, strobes simulate lightning and, when appropriate, the theater can deploy snow, scents and bubbles.

As for the other effects, The Bottom Shaker is joined by The Back Shaker and motions that, for lack of better names, could be referred to as The Shoulder Kicker and The Kidney Rumbler.

When it rains …

Thor’s ax arrives on-screen accompanied by a sideways jolt. The seats gently sway to simulate flight. For stretches, there’s no movement at all, and you can lose track of just what the theater can produce. Then, without warning, you’re being jostled about in ways that land somewhere between airplane turbulence and those old-timey exercise machines with the vibrating belts.

Guzzle some gin, chase it with a little vermouth and, by James Bond’s standards, you could spit up the perfect martini.

The rain, though, feels unnecessary.

It doesn’t exactly turn the theater into a SeaWorld splash zone. The water ranges from a few droplets to approximate blood — good luck during a Tarantino movie unless you’re dressed like a longshoreman — to a light drizzle during a scene in a rainstorm that will leave you unpleasantly damp.

You’ll never notice how often water falls in a movie until you begin to flinch whenever you see it.

And, yeah, that water will collect on your 3D glasses.

Seriously, who is this for? Despite living in the desert, I know what rain feels like. I have sense memory. I don’t need this, just like I don’t need flames shooting down from the ceiling to appreciate on-screen heat.

Some 4DX advice

“Water on” seems to be each chair’s default setting. Thankfully, there’s a button on the armrest to turn off the downpour.

Another tip? Maybe don’t eat a full meal right before a screening.

Also, don’t try eating during the movie unless you want most of your snacks to be shaken out onto the floor.

If you leave for a bathroom break — “Avengers: Endgame” is three hours long, after all — or replacement concessions, be careful sitting back down. Depending on what’s transpiring on-screen, it can be like throwing a bowling ball inside a working washing machine and then trying to leap on.

Consider a mouth guard.

Don’t go with romance on your mind. All that bouncing around should cut down on mid-movie make-out sessions while simultaneously making it far easier to inadvertently get to second base with the stranger seated next to you.

And if you feel something slapping against your calf, relax. It’s just The Leg Tickler.

Upon closer inspection, it’s a thin hose that, when air is passed through it, moves around wildly, slapping anything within its reach.

On second thought, if that’s any indication, maybe Las Vegas isn’t ready for The Bottom Tickler after all.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST