Saturday 9 March 2024

Movie Review: Ambulance (2022)

Genre: Action Thriller  
Director: Michael Bay  
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González  
Running Time: 136 minutes  

Synopsis: In Los Angeles, ex-US Marine and Afghanistan War veteran Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is desperate to fund life-saving surgery for his wife. He reluctantly joins his adopted brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal) in a bank heist expected to yield $32 million. Danny is a lifelong criminal, but this job goes wrong, forcing Will and Danny to hijack an ambulance with paramedic Cam (Eiza González) and wounded police officer Zach (Jackson White) in the back. With numerous police units in hot pursuit, Will, Danny, and Cam have different reasons to survive the ordeal.

What Works Well: This adaptation of a Danish movie packs a remarkable amount of energy, and never slows down. A loony amalgamation of Heat and Speed-in-an-ambulance is a good starting summary, but director Michael Bay also gets to play with on-the-go blood transfusions and surgery, conflict between two brothers, countless cop cars and helicopters, one big dog, and an entire gang of armed goons. The over-the-top stunts and special effects are bathed in sweaty colours, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen combines with Eiza González to create some human grounding amidst the craziness.

What Does Not Work As Well: Mindless and at times mind-numbing action is the only objective, and none of it is remotely serious. Jake Gyllenhaal is miscast as the near-psychotic villain, and the 136 minutes of running time are more than excessive for what is essentially a live action cartoon chase.

Conclusion: Obnoxiously loud and undeniably hypnotic.

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