Looking back now, it's great to watch the movies - for better or worse - back to back, because the ever-changing line-up is what has kept the series fresh. Part 7 brings us up to date with the F&F timeline, recapping the end of part six (itself a re-enactment of part three) before taking us on another balls-to-the-wall, high-octane adventure. Storyline optional.
Paul Walker's tragic death before the end of filming adds weight and poignancy to the drama, but besides that it's business as usual for the ever-expanding cast and crew. Jason Statham plays the big bad this time around with Kurt Russell bringing on-screen cool to a series of films that barely needed it.
Tony Jaa gets a share of the spoils too, as does Hollyoaks and GoT babe, Nathalie Emmanuel, who fits the role (and her bikini) very well indeed. Even Djimon Hounsou makes an appearance alongside series regulars Rodriguez, Diesel, Brewster, Gibson, Ludacris and Johnson.
There is a plot and it's perfectly agreeable, but the F&F movies have been playing to their strengths since part five and it's pointless trying to criticise them now. James Wan takes the reigns for the first time and he's the perfect replacement for Lin - the action is fast, the music is loud, the girls are hot and the action sequences are a giddy pleasure.
Want to see a car fly? Fast 7 might resemble a superhero movie at times but you'll be having too much fun to care. Statham is great as a machine that won't be stopped, The Rock steals every scene he appears in, Jaa and Russell are good value for money and Vin Diesel gives his most heartfelt performance to date - it's genuinely touching at times.
The world needs more lightweight, action-packed escapism like this, and as such, Fast 7 is a thrilling tribute to the dreamy excess of action cinema. Credit to the cast and crew, they've really nailed it this time out, and the touching finale will bring a tear to the most manly of eyes. Somewhere out there Paul Walker must be smiling.