Furious 7 (2015)

It’s more of the same for this seventh entry in the long-running “Fast and the Furious” franchises, but unlike most movie series, that proves to be just the right thing to do. After all, these movies don’t thrive on innovation but instead augment the stunts and entertainment factor with each new entry, and the same is true here. Jason Statham makes a strong villain, with the physical affinity to pose a real threat to the protagonists but just enough charm to ensure that his contribution to the narrative doesn’t distract from the overall flow of the established internal universe. Of course, the stunts are absolutely ridiculous from beginning to end, and I mean that as a compliment: The action is high-octane without ever being unpleasant, and there are some crackerjack sequences that’ll have the audience hooting and hollering (a certain drop from an airplane comes to mind, for those who have seen it already). Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker and company are all in top form, with the winning banter among the disparate group contributing to making the movie such a blast. Along with “Fast Five” and “Fast & Furious 6,” it seems like the producers figured out how to give the audience exactly what it wants without bogging the narrative down with off-putting machismo, and even at well over two hours, the whole thing is over before you know it.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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