Furious 7

Rated 3.0

The latest Furious movie says goodbye to series mainstay Paul Walker while taking car chases to seriously outlandish and fantastical extremes. In some ways, the film has become more of a science fiction offering rather than a car chase movie, and that's fine by me. I have to admit that part of me got uncomfortable watching Paul Walker racing around in cars a little over a year after he died in a fiery car crash. You can say Walker died doing something he loved, but I'm thinking irresponsible and reckless speeding dropped way down on his favorite things list during the final moments of his life. Like, to the way, way bottom of that list. That said, Furious 7 does spark some life into a very tired franchise by going totally bananas, and it's pretty remarkable how Walker, who had allegedly only filmed half of his scenes before he died, is inserted into the movie posthumously. Director James Wan, primarily known for horror movies like Saw and The Conjuring, has delivered the franchise's best offering since the first one. This movie gets my blessing for the sequence involving Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto and Walker's Brian O'Conner jumping a car through not one but two skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi. Will there be an eighth film, even though Walker is no longer with us? Um, given that the movie made nearly $144 million in its opening weekend, I think it's a foregone conclusion that Universal will find a way to keep the engines running on this sucker.