starring: jake gyllenhaal, Eiza Gonzalez, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Keir O'Donnell
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Two robbers steal an ambulance after their heist goes awry.
One of the Transformers films (can't remember which) was the last Michael Bay movie that I saw on the big screen. That’s a long time between drinks. But it’s good to see the utter chaos he brings splattered and screeching all over the silver screen once again. While it needs a little shaved off its runtime, Ambulance is a breathless, entertaining thrill of a ride and a film you’ve just gotta see on the biggest screen you can find.
Needing money to cover his wife's medical bills, Will, a decorated veteran, teams up with his adoptive brother Danny to steal $32 million from a Los Angeles bank. However, when their getaway goes spectacularly wrong, the desperate thieves hijack an ambulance that's carrying a severely wounded cop and Cam, an EMT worker. Caught in a high-speed chase, the two siblings must figure out a way to outrun the law while keeping their hostages alive.
Ambulance is the kind of film that has a pretty simple storyline and not a lot of exposition or deep character development. But it doesn’t really need it. This is a freakin’ Michael Bay movie and you more than get bang for your buck.
Apart from the opening twenty minutes or so the rest of the film is stacked with breathtaking, whoop out loud inducing, heart in your mouth action sequences. Nobody does it better than Michael Bay. From the bloody mayhem of Danny, Will and the crew’s escape from the bank after robbing it to Danny swerving through law enforcement vehicles and them screeching past the camera with a howling furry, this is a blockbuster action film of the highest calibre. To think that Ambulance was shot in 39 days in the middle of the pandemic is extraordinary.
The premise of Ambulance doesn’t justify its nearly two and a half hour run time. Not to say that it’s not entertaining, it absolutely is and will have you on the edge of your seat throughout, but it could have done with a little tightening up around the middle.
Despite not a lot of explicit character development, Gyllenhaal, González and Abdul-Mateen II all manage to bring a real life to their characters and give Ambulance a beating heart that will have you rooting for the characters to the very last frame.
While it needs a little shaved off its runtime, Ambulance is a breathless, entertaining thrill of a ride that you’ve just gotta see on the biggest screen possible.