Ambulance; Grade: C
Ambulance tells a story about an ex vet named Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen the Second) who’s wife needs an important surgery of some sort. Unfortunately Will’s insurance doesn’t cover the surgery, so he will have to figure out a way to get the money else where. He turns to his brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal) whom has a job for him that could perhaps cover the surgery. The job however… Is not necessarily legal. Danny has had a history of becoming one of the most notorious bank robbers of all Los Angeles, as he has been on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for quite sometime, as he would like Will to partake in this over 16 million dollar bank robbery mission. This mission will not be an easy one, as it’ll include the robbers highjacking an ambulance, which has an EMT by the name of Cam (Eliza Gonzalez) along with a cop whom gotten shot as well. Feast your eyes on a wild ride, hoping to secure the B A G!
Michael Bay is one of those film makers in which you’re hesitant a bit to watch his films. Sure the selling factor in his films is you’re guaranteed to the film being action packed, I see why audiences like his films as they can come across entertaining. However there are cases where his films can be loud, dumb, obnoxious, and headache inducing much. I’ve enjoyed 13 Hours and Pain and Gain, but films such as Transformers, his Bad Boy films, and his latest release 6 Underground… Not so much.
Considering Ambulance had Jake Gyllenhaal as one of the lead roles, the poster design looked pretty neat, plus some positive feedback… I actually had genuine hope this could be a good film. Ambulance was… Ight.
The whole concept surrounding this bank heist that takes place in a high jacked ambulance car, while there is someone literally near their death bed was a neat little concept at hand. You can feel the tense, stress, and anxiety surrounding this type of situation involved with everyone, as this is a daring task at hand to execute while also trying to secure someone’s else life all in one process. There are a couple exciting car chase scenes, followed by some entertaining explosive car sequences which will get a kick out of Michael Bay fans for sure.
The narrative at hand does something well in terms of providing a genuine purpose in this mission, while also establishing a character arc as well. The whole purpose Will involving himself in this situation, is in order to help provide for his wife’s surgery. Normally we go against one being involved in an illegal activity like this, however considering the fact this man has served for his country, as the woman on the phone could care less about his service for this country… It feels like one gigantic slap in the face, as you can’t help but to root on for this individual and hopefully him succeeding so he can help his wife in a medical matter.
The character arc involving Cam the EMT I found to be fairly developed. In the beginning Cam doesn’t see much value to her job, though we admire her being extremely calm and collective in a hectic situation of a young child being a car accident, however she doesn’t think more of her profession as an everyday job comparable to a 9-5. But when Cam gets into this unexpected situation as being held as a hostage, while treating an officer that’s been shot and has to treat on him in such crucial situations… I feel Cam found herself actually not taking her profession for granted. She learned that there is extreme honor and gratitude involved in what she does for a living, as by the end of the film you see her being way more appreciative. It was a nicely done arc and should speak volumes to those that work in this field especially, that it’s more than just doing a job, you are a hero.
The main issue I have with Ambulance is pacing. The pacing of this film can drag a bit, as I honestly did get bored while watching this film as I felt it ran on a bit too long. It can also play a part in sequences being extremely repetitive… At some point you’re going to get over car chase sequences that continue on and on all over again. Some the comedy was… Stupid. Some jokes did get me to chuckle, but there are others that were obnoxious as this isn’t the first time Michael Bay has delivered dumb humor so it’s expected.
I didn’t care for some of the editing, can sometimes give me a headache. Direction wasn’t the best, I felt some performances weren’t up to par, as given a fairly talented crew… You expect a little bit more.
Overall, Ambulance was just ok. I recommend waiting for this one for rental, definitely was a lot better than what I expected out of Michael Bay for sure. -Mitch Smietana