Hobbs & Shaw is calling back to more than just the previous movies in the Fast & Furious franchise, considering the spin-off pretty directly references a different car-heavy action film from star Jason Statham’s past.
Very, very mild spoilers below.
With Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), Shaw (Statham), and Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) on the run, Shaw takes his frenemy and sister to his secret hideout where they can suit up and get new identities. Since this is a Fast & Furious movie, the space is filled with gorgeous, expensive sports cars, with one exception: a Mini Cooper. Seems like a weird fit for Shaw, right? Well, he says it’s from “a job I pulled in Italy.”
Yep, that is a nod to Statham’s 2003 heist film The Italian Job, which also starred Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, and a lot of Mini Coopers. Now, is this just a fun easter egg, or could there be more to suggest that this is a connected universe?
In The Italian Job, Statham plays Handsome Rob, the ladies man and wheelman of the crew. Huh, sounds familiar, as Shaw proved to be both in Hobbs & Shaw. Plus, Handsome Rob is such a fake name. Oh, and like previously mentioned, Theron is also in the film, starring as a safe cracker who prefers to use technology as opposed to the old school method. Huh, Theron was in The Fate of the Furious as Cipher, a cyberterrorist who appears to have a past with Shaw and his brother Owen (Luke Evans). And let’s not forget that Italian Job and Fate of the Furious were both directed by F. Gary Gray. What does that mean? I don’t know, but I like the connection!
EW already strung together the Rock Cinematic Universe, so have we now finally formed the Statham Cinematic Universe? Don’t say I didn’t warn you if Wahlberg’s Charlie Croker pops up in Hobbs & Shaw 2 as that mysterious voice.
Hobbs & Shaw is now in theaters.