So, what is there to say really? The movie delivers. That kind of says it all; it just delivers absolutely. So many amazing action moments in this movie. Michelle Rodriguez vs. Ronda Rousey; the bus rescue; Walker vs. Jaa; “You’re damn right it is;” Kurt Russell’s sunglasses; the Rock with a minigun. It just all adds up to a deliriously entertaining action flick, which is what these movies have been about for a while now. But it’s the earnestness of the performers that sell this stuff in a lot of ways. In the midst of all the ludicrous bombast, Diesel & Walker in particular have always treated it like Shakespeare and they’ve managed, over the course of this series, to actually imbue their relationship with surprising emotional heft. The obvious themes of family being important, of course, it’s still really that central relationship between Dom & Brian that keeps the movie feeling real. So, of course, this one was always going to have to hit more notes than just the typical action movie fare and, to the film’s absolute credit, the ending send-off to Paul Walker was everything I needed & wanted it to be. The film just embraces its unabashed emotionalism with a sentimental ending that really did move me quite a bit. It’s really perfect, frankly, from the flashbacks to that final helicopter shot of the cars diverging on those two roads. It’s so good that I almost wish the franchise could end with this film. Well, that was never going to happen, so whatever; I’ll probably go see 8 when it comes out and I’ll probably get another really good action flick and as the series keeps rolling I’ll probably forget that wish, assuming that the series stays good, which I think it can even without Brian. But, anyway, this film just really works on every level it aims for; when it wants to be a high-octane, super-entertaining action movie, it is just that & when it wants to pause to hit some manly emotionalism, it succeeds there as well. All in all, a darn good, perfectly pitched movie. 4 stars.
tl;dr – typically excellent action movie thrills are tempered this time around with real emotion and sentiment; adds up to a real treat. 4 stars.