Furious 7 could be the movie that kicks the 14-year-old Fast and Furious franchise past the $3-billion mark at the international box office. All of the series' distinctive elements are in place. We have the casually multi-racial cast and the usual off-hand jokes (when it becomes necessary to look underneath a car, Vin Diesel just leans down and lifts the front end up into the air). And there's a more-than-usual reverence for family and friendship, much of it stirred by the departure of longtime star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in 2013, midway through production.
What we have mostly, of course, is state-of-the-art automotive uproar, room-wrecking MMA-style smack-downs, and wildly inventive stunts performed by real live people. This is the longest movie in the franchise, and toward the end the action overload begins to wear. But the picture never wanders far from its furious imperative, and it's a lot of fun.
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