‘Furious 7′ Review: Paul Walker Paid Fitting Tribute In Final Role

March 17, 2015 12:36 AM

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‘Furious 7′ Review: Paul Walker Paid Fitting Tribute In Final Role

A new director at the helm and the sudden death of leading man Paul Walker might have spelled doom for the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, but rather like one of its own seemingly indestructible muscle cars, “Furious 7” has emerged miraculously unscathed. In taking over for longtime director Justin Lin (parts 3-6), horror auteur James Wan (“The Conjuring”) ably steps up to the big-action plate, orchestrating two-plus-hours of increasingly outlandish vehicular (and aerobatic) mayhem that revs pulses and engines in roughly equal measure. Completed under what were surely challenging circumstances, but (mostly) seamless to behold, “Furious 7” provides both a satisfying chapter in the movies’ preeminent gearhead soap opera and a tactful, touching memorial to Walker, whose final screen appearance will help ensure that this already $2.3 billion series is seven times lucky at the worldwide box office.

When Walker died in a high-speed car crash in November 2013, he was only halfway through filming “Furious 7” — a process that was eventually completed using a combination of unseen Walker footage from previous films and new scenes shot using stand-ins (including Walker’s two younger brothers, Caleb ...

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