Ambulance (2022) – Review


Ambulance is the latest film from director Michael Bay, a director who in the past, I have stated has never made a film that I liked. Though, I personally thought that I was never going to be forcibly exposed to him in a cinema screen again considering what he’s done since his last release. While Michael Bay has been in a producing role, he certainly seems to be ‘hands-off’ or at least I assume he is hands-off in these producer roles, considering that some of these films turn out to be good, like the two ‘A Quiet Place’ movies, for example.

But ever since ‘13 Hours’ it seems like his directorial jobs have not really been doing very well, or at least have struggled to find someone to pick them up, his films have mainly gone to Netflix. I assumed that he had gone done the Netflix route for the same reason that Adam Sandler went down, because the studios has caught wise that he wasn’t as profitable as they thought and so chose to just say no.

That’s the thing though, Adam Sandler has managed to escape Netflix and done some quite good work with accomplished directors- and Michael Bay has got a film that he has directed into cinemas again, and it’s not another Transformers film, so I’m pretty happy all things considered. Anything that is keeping him from making more of those films, I am glad about.

He teamed up with prominent TV producer Chris Fedak to write a screenplay based on a Dutch film of the same name. Ambulance is essentially a heist movie, it involves an Army vet, Will Sharp (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) going to his brother Danny (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) to ask for a loan to pay for experimental surgery for his wife’s condition, after being denied insurance pay through his army, and is then dragged along as part of a heist in a bank. However, the plan goes awry when a pair of cops unexpectedly show up to the bank and one of them is shot. When he is taken by paramedics and the whole thing goes south, fast (and I mean it goes really horribly wrong- do not get used to the rest of the crew, that’s all I’m going to say) the brothers hijack the ambulance, initially pretending to be EMT workers, along with the EMT treating the policeman that they shot (Cam Thompson played by Eiza Gonzales) they are now on a massive high speed chase in the ambulance, whilst trying to keep the cop alive with the EMT a to avoid a capital murder charge.

Okay, if this film sounds like Michael Bay going against his usual type, it is certainly not. This is a Michael Bay film through and through. It’s way too long, it has terrible dialogue- it’s appalling! Some of these situations are laughable in how ridiculous they are yet how seriously we’re meant to take them. There’s an actual scene where I kid you not, the EMT has to perform surgery on the cop and ask advice from two other doctors over facetime.

What’s more, the whole thing flies so far out of control that it’s almost like the whole point of why they hijacked the ambulance is virtually gone out of the window. They say they don’t want to go down worse by being cop killers, but by doing this heist chase they are both directly and indirectly responsible for dozens of police deaths.. and I’m pretty sure a few members of the public didn’t come out alive from this either!

The plot gets even more convoluted, they call in another gang to help provide a distraction in exchange for half of the money that they stole partway through the film, and that really devolves quickly too, including one scene which had the dumbest idea for a subtle escape that I have ever seen in my life. You don’t do something like that to get away guys, that sort of thing will make you the most wanted people in the state of California!

It’s a really, really, badly directed film, all of the actors in this are really great and have given excellent performances in the past, I’ve praised Yahya Abdul-Mateem II acting in many of his previous films, but his performance skills have definitely been drawn out of him in this one, even if he is arguably the main protagonist in this entire film! I don’t know what someone has done to Jake Gyllenhaal but they seemed to have encouraged him to overreact to an insane degree. If anything, this felt like a 90’s throwback film, I feel like apart from some of the special effects used, you could easily have made this film in the 90’s, in fact I’ve actually seen a lot of comparisons made to Speed in this movie.

The only thing that really stands out about it is the drone shots that are used repeatedly. Michael Bay hired some top drone artists to get the shots in, but they don’t add much to the film, because for one thing they’re not used sparingly enough. It feels like they’re used in every other shot regardless of the context. That’s to make up for the fact that Michael Bay’s usual shooting style is here for pretty much all of the other types of filming that he does. The camera and editing work are once again appalling, there’s way too many close up shots, way too much shaky cam, and I can’t tell what’s going on half of the time, Fortunately, it’s not as bad as some of his previous films, but this film is really just shot terribly. I’ve said it on numerous occasions, I need to have a geographical idea of where every fighter is, in order for a fight scene to work.

This film is really padded, and it is way too long. I went into it assuming that it would be an hour and forty minutes to two hours.. it goes on for nearly two and a quarter hours! Keep in mind, the original film that this is remaking was only 80 minutes long. As a result, we have long scenes that are designed just to drag the plot along. They could have cut out a lot of this movie and it would have affected nothing.

On top of all of this, it just feels really dull most of the time. I’m just waiting for the next thing to happen because the plot is also really predictable. I pretty. much knew exactly where this film was going from the start, and as a result, I was kind of exhausted by my boredom.

Ambulance is not Michael Bay’s worst film, but it is not a good film. It is fundamentally flawed by the fact that it is too long, too drawn out, it’s not acted great, and it’s really not shot very well. The one bit of gimmickry that is used in this film is so overused that you stop even noticing it very early on.

Save your money, there are way better films coming out in the next couple of weeks.
Calvin – Nerd Consultant

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