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Ambulance (15)

Cast: Eiza Gonzalez, Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Garret Dillahunt
Genre: Action
Author(s): Chris Fedak
Director: Michael Bay
Release Date: 25/03/2022
Running Time: 136mins
Country: US
Year: 2022

War veteran Will Sharp faces crippling medical bills to protect his beloved wife Amy and keep his family intact. He has nowhere to turn except to his adopted brother, Danny, a career criminal with a nose for trouble. Danny is masterminding the biggest bank heist in the city's history and offers Will a cut of the 32 million dollar haul, more than enough to cover Amy's life-saving surgery. Unfortunately, the getaway from the robbery goes spectacularly awry and Will and Danny hijack an ambulance.


LondonNet Film Review
Ambulance (15)

For more than an hour of the cacophonous action thriller Ambulance, orchestrated with chest-thumping brio by Michael Bay, the life of a wounded LAPD officer hangs precariously in the balance on a stretcher in a speeding emergency response vehicle. This turbo-charged English language remake of a 2005 Danish thriller also flatlines on more than one occasion, whether it’s a preposterous DIY medical procedure to remedy a ruptured spleen, a canine companion in peril or screenwriter Chris Fedak gleefully referencing Bay’s 1996 prison break The Rock in dialogue…

Ambulance is crammed to bursting with the director’s trademarks: whirling camerawork including dizzying shots with drones, slow-motion gun play and a wanton disregard for property with an engine and four wheels. The automotive carnage is spectacular but overblown, causing one sardonic supporting character to survey the escalating damage via CCTV and quip, “Yeah, that’s a very expensive car chase right now”. Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II angrily bellow above the din as siblings in dire straits but their testosterone-soaked antics are repeatedly drowned out by a thunderous, drum-heavy score from composer Lorne Balfe that rattles craniums and compels me to self-administer a full dose of paracetamol as soon as the end credits roll.

US Army veteran Will Sharp (Abdul-Mateen II) faces crippling bills for an experimental treatment for his wife Amy (Moses Ingram), which isn’t covered by their medical insurance. Desperate times call for dumb measures and Will turns to his livewire adopted brother, Danny (Gyllenhaal), a career criminal with 37 bank robberies to his name. Danny is masterminding a 32 million dollar bank heist and he offers Will a cut of the ill-gotten gains by joining his five-man crew.

A perfect plan unravels when rookie cop Zach (Jackson White), a recent graduate of the police academy, arrives unexpectedly at the bank during the robbery to ask one of the tellers out on a date. The officer takes two bullets during a scuffle and ballsy paramedic Cam Thompson (Eiza Gonzalez) and her partner Scott (Colin Woodell) race to the scene. Their chariot with sirens is a perfect getaway vehicle for the fugitives, setting in motion a protracted chase around city streets with law enforcement led by Captain Monroe (Garret Dillahunt) and FBI Agent Anson Clark (Keir O’Donnell).

Set over the course of one frenetic day, Ambulance prescribes base pleasures with occasional wry humour like when Cam attacks Danny with a fire extinguisher and the crook berates her for messing up his attire: “This is cashmere!” Bay’s picture is cut from cheaper cloth, albeit with an exorbitant price tag for the jaw-dropping stunt work and motorised mayhem that needlessly adds an hour to the original film’s svelte 80-minute running time.

– Jo Planter


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