Ambulance (Action, Crime, Drama) [Based on Foreign Film] (2022)
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Chris Fedak, Laurits Munch-Petersen (Based on Foreign Film by), Lars Andreas Pedersen (Based on Foreign Film by)
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González, Garret Dillahunt
Risking everything in a high-stakes heist, two adoptive brothers have to improvise, stealing an ambulance to try and escape with their newly-gained bounty.
The latest endeavour by Michael Bay brings another action-packed adventure, re-creating a similar Danish film, similarly to one of Gyllenhaal’s previous projects ‘’The Guilty’’. The movie has been filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic as Bay aimed to shoot a smaller project without ties to other projects. It was filmed in Los Angeles and produced by New Republic Pictures, Project X Entertainment and Bay Films while distributed by Universal Pictures.
In desperate need of cash and willing to commit any act for it, ‘’Ambulance’’ kicks off with Gyllenhaal’s Danny and Abdul Mateen’s Will in a poorly planned yet overly ambitious bank heist. As we’re used to from director Michael Bay, it’s set to be a spectacle filled with crashes and explosions. Although underlying, it is a family drama, as not only is Will’s spouse sickly, but tensions quickly rise in an ambulance turned pressure cooker. It’s not only Will and Danny but Eiza González who is also added to the fray, playing skilled EMT Cam Thompson, snarky stubborn and needing to save the life of a young police officer.
Despite seeming like many elements coming together in an intensive and explosive showcase, ‘’Ambulance’’ felt slow, or at least more so than other Bay films. That isn’t necessarily the fault of what happens on screen, however, as a lot does happen. It’s likely more-so the lack of character investment. While both Gyllenhaal and Abdul-Mateen are brilliant actors, they’re also part of a cast where they’re the most recognisable. Admittedly Dillahunt, González and others have done their fair share in Hollywood, yet the leading stars easily overshadow the other cast, filled with many lesser-known, including rapper Wale.
While the largest task is to suspend disbelief, ‘’Ambulance’’ doesn’t strive to do so in the slightest. Even though Michael Bay films are made for cheap thrills and little thoughts, the fact you can’t invest in the characters and the unfiltered illogicality ultimately harm this American copy to the point of no return. What baffled most was how Abdul-Mateen was driving, and little seemed to be going wrong in the back of the ambulance, even performing impromptu surgery. There are so many of these things that are no longer oversights but just a complete lack of intelligent writing. It tries to inject the absurdity with some humour which rarely hits right.
As the end finally arrives, we’re treated to some case of Stockholm Syndrome by González’s character, as if it wasn’t moronic enough. At least the lighting was excellent, sunrays beaming past the characters and overall quite realistic.
An ambulance might be needed after sitting through Bay’s latest film.