George North scored a try with barely two minutes on the clock to set the tone for the night, with a Welsh side inspired by the threats issued by coach Warren Gatland following their capitulation against Ireland two weeks ago.
There was to be no repeat of that showing in Dublin, however, as Sam Warburton's side were outstanding both in defence and attack, ruthlessly capitalising on their opponents mistakes, always keeping their discipline, and barely missing a tackle all night.
France, for their part, made far too many mistakes despite showing flashes of attacking flair, and dominating the match for 20 minutes at the outset of the second half.
But several missed shots at goal meant that they were never within striking distance, and Warburton's try with 16 minutes left after a brilliant charge through the 22m by Jamie Roberts put the result beyond all doubt.
A string of collapsing scrums - which led to Gethin Jenkins and Nicolas Mas both being sin binned together at one point - took the shine off the match as a spectacle, but the delirious crowd barely noticed as their idols showed that the loss against Ireland was merely a good team suffering a blip.
The win puts Wales back in contention to defend their Six Nations title, particularly if England beat Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday - which would leave the top four teams in the competition all level on points with two matches left to come.