Consumers got their first big-screen taste of D-BOX Motion Code a few weeks ago with the theatrical debut of Fast and Furious, so it’s only appropriate that one of the latest D-BOX Blu-ray movies to release also stars Vin Diesel: Babylon A.D. D-BOX engineers consistently produce realistic car sequences, so the Fast and Furious debut was a logical first step for a theatrical application. After all, if you’re going to make a good first impression, you may as well play to your strengths.
Ironically, “ambient” is probably the best way to describe the overall D-BOX application in Babylon A.D., starting with the opening scenes. Gentle thumps open the film to coincide with the camera panning above the landscape and the bass of the opening song. The chair then thumps gently as ambient helicopter noises echo through the wasteland-like streets.
Then all Hell breaks loose. When a small mercenary army blasts into Vin Diesel’s apartment, the Motion Code delivers some massive movement, almost as though you were sitting at the dining room table across from Diesel asking him to pass the mustard. The Motion also corresponds to the scene’s music, which really helps set the mood. When the main star is escorted into a tank, the chair expectedly rumbles along with his trip, but most impressive is that the rumbles intensify on the scene’s exterior shots, while the interior shots are much more refined and return to the “ambient” sensations from five minutes earlier.
There are a few fun movements during a parkour-like chase scene through an industrial bar, but even in this powerful scene, the most pleasant surprise comes from the subtle thumps and corresponding to punches, kicks and people hitting the ground. A few of these actually feel like one side of the chair is falling out, almost like a bridge collapsing, making this by far the best use of D-BOX Motion Code in any fight scene. In fact, when this scene goes into a cage match, I actually laughed out loud several times because I was having so much fun.
Still, as excellent as these motions are, you’d be hard-pressed to call them anything but ambient. Small thumps in a fighting scene aren’t exactly show-stopping in and of themselves, but they provide that extra level of immersion that only D-BOX can provide. In another scene, for instance, Diesel and the “psychic” girl he’s escorting to America board a submarine, which quickly becomes the location of a bonafide freak out. You see, the people who weren’t able to get on the submarine are left for dead, and the girl claims she can feel them dying. Well, guess what? So do D-BOX viewers, because each unfortunate soul who flounders into the icy waters elicits a massive shaking effect from the chair. It’s morbidly entertaining, but you’d never want to admit it to your in-laws.
A few other explosions showcase the “big blast” capabilities of D-BOX-equipped seating, but generally speaking, the majority of the movements in Babylon A.D. highlight the subtlety of the technology. For movie buffs who recently saw Vin Diesel rock D-BOX-equipped theaters in Fast and Furious, Babylon A.D. is the perfect complement to prove that Motion Code isn’t just for cars. Tanks and subs, sure, but more than anything else, Babylon A.D. shows that soundtracks and camera movements can provide just as much immersion, but on a different and much more ambient level.
Click here to buy Babylon A.D. on Blu-ray from Amazon.
- Score: 8.7
— Jonas Allen