The seventh installment in Universal’s enormously lucrative Fast And The Furious franchise, Furious 7just might be the best one yet in terms of pure thrills and action. And as I say in my video review, it also is the final film for co-star Paul Walker, who died in an unrelated auto accident during production.

Deadline Review Badge Pete HammondThe director James Wan and the filmmaking team have done an exceptional job in re-crafting the film and finishing Walker’s performance using stand-ins, Walker’s own brother and special-effects wizardry to let the star go out in style, even if it’s hard to separate how he died with some of the film’s scenes. The filmmakers also have created a hugely touching finale (but NO SPOILERS on how) that should have the audience in tears after more than two hours of solid, no-holds-barred excitement.

The basic plot revolves around the gang (Vin Diesel, Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson) out for revenge against the evil  Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) who conversely is out to get them. Kurt Russell plays Mr. Nobody, a government agent who desperately needs to retrieve a device that can track anyone’s movements anywhere. But collecting the device is a near-impossibility so Mr. Nobody turns to this group, promising if they can retrieve it they can use it to track Shaw.

Plot in these films, of course, is just a device to get to the stunts, but boy, are those stunts stunning. The list includes a set piece that starts with the cars and their drivers parachuting from a plane, landing on a treacherous mountain road and taking part in an epic chase. It has to be seen to be believed. But it’s far from the only noteworthy action sequence. The film is full of stuff like this including another spectacular sequence set in Abu Dhabi. Fans of the franchise are in for a treat.

Further filling out the cast are Djimon Hounsou as a terrorist, Jordana Brewster, Lucas Black, martial-arts legend Tony Jaa and MMA champion Ronda Rousey. Producers are Diesel, Neal H. Moritz and Michael Fottrell.

Watch my review. Do you plan on racing to the theater to see this stunt-filled curtain call for Paul Walker? Let us know what you think.