Review: Ambulance

Sometimes I miss films that haven’t come out in the last few weeks. I’m human. Occasionally, I’ll catch up on some films I finally got around to that I may have missed.

Action-packed and ridiculous, Michael Bay’s Ambulance is exactly what you would expect from a modern Michael Bay film. Loud, preposterous, and far too self-involved to be fun, the film is just…a lot.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as Will Sharp, a war veteran in desperate need of an experimental life-saving surgery for his wife. In his desperation, he turns to his criminal adoptive brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal) for the large amount of money. Danny recruits Will to participate in a lucrative bank robbery.

While everything seems to go according to plan, a lovestruck police officer Zack (Jackson White) intervenes, leading to the criminals to scatter. In the mayhem, Will shoots Zack and leaves him in a parking garage. EMT Cam (Eiza Gonzalez) helps Zack, but is hijacked by Will and Danny to escape. With special investigations and the FBI on their trail, the pair attempt to get back home while Cam just wants to survive.

Make no mistake, this is one of the most Michael Bay films while still showing a great amount of restraint. While the smorgasbord of crashed cars and unnecessary one-liners, the usual ultra-violence is greatly toned down. The film has it’s fair share of nasty, but it never feels gratuitous. Bay has discovered drone cameras and if you feel like drinking yourself to death, drink every time you see a drone shot.

Gyllenhaal is turned up to 27 and it’s the best part of the film. His manic energy and screaming volume matches everything Bay is presenting visually. Abdul-Mateen is his usual dependable self, but he is so good, the film is out of step with what he is bringing. Despite being in the ambulance for the majority of the film, he is puzzlingly sidelined. Gonzalez is somewhere in between the two. She has the necessary energy, but with much more restraint than Gyllenhaal.

You can’t go into this movie without knowing what you are about to get. It’s pure adrenaline, people who are “the best” at their jobs, dumb one-liners, endless dumb action, and completely unrealistic plot mechanics. For me, it was all too much.

If you like Michael Bay films, you will love Ambulance. It’s a two plus hours of vehicle carnage and mayhem. If you are looking for a calm, enjoyable time, maybe look elsewhere.

Ambulance is now available on-demand
Score: 2.5/5.0

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