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Fast & Furious 7 - ITV2

Paul Walker leaps into action
(Image credit: © 2015 Universal All Rights Res)

The seventh instalment in the relentless action-movie franchise is the brashest, noisiest, most ludicrously outrageous in the series so far. 3/5 stars

No surprises there, but what is unexpected is quite how tender the film turns out to be as a touching farewell to departed star Paul Walker, who was killed in a car crash during a break from filming in 2013.

Director James Wan had to resort to doubles and CGI to complete the film, but Walker's blue-eyed charisma still shines through. Old favourites Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Jordana Brewster are back, along with newcomers Jason Statham (vengeful British black-ops badass), Kurt Russell (slick CIA spook) and Nathalie Emmanuel (kidnapped hacker).

The plot makes little sense, but is a perfectly serviceable peg on which to hang a string of over-the-top action sequences. Some of these are simple slugfests, such as the bone-crunching bout between Statham and Johnson near the beginning or the even more pummelling round between Statham and Diesel towards the end.

Of course, it's the audaciously overblown vehicular stunts that are most eye-catching, notably the hair-raising scene in which Diesel jumps between Abu Dhabi's three Etihad Towers in a $3million Lykan HyperSport car and the even more palm-dampening one in which Walker scrambles along the top of a perilously tilting armoured coach as it teeters on the brink of a cliff.

Expect the Fast and Furious crew to top these scenes next time, but they'll never match the poignancy of seeing Walker at the wheel for one last sunset ride.