Two brothers attempt to rob a bank, but when things go bad,
they hijack an ambulance and must figure out a new plan.
Directed by Michael Bay
Written by Chris Fedak
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González, Garret Dillahunt, Keir O'Donnell, Jackson White
Remake of 2005's Ambulance
There are certain expectations I have when watching a Michael Bay movie. For starters, I don't expect much. He's good at special effects and thin characters. I expect a fairly long movie that is probably based on something else or influenced by something better. Ambulance has elements of both, but it isn't terrible. Bay, when he tries to go for a "less is more" approach, always seems to stumble back to "more" before the film is over. But thanks to the committed performances, Ambulance doesn't fall apart. I think Bay has gotten better at handling female characters, but he's still got some qualities that irritate me and they shine through in almost all of his movies.
Former Marine Will Sharp (Mateen) is in dire straits. His wife needs experimental surgery, and he can't afford it. So, he reaches out to his brother Danny (Gyllenhaal), who is an expert bank robber. Will joins the heist, which goes terribly wrong and ends up with Will and Danny hijacking an ambulance with a dying cop and a terrified EMT named Cam (Gonzalez). Now, there is a citywide manhunt, with every cop in the city tailing them as they desperately try to think up a plan. I think some of the side characters could've been expanded on so we care about them, and the EMT starts out so unlikable and has a strange character shift that doesn't make much sense. Somehow, this experience has made her a better person, which is a weird lesson. Also, there's a scene where Bay does a not at all subtle reference to two of his movies, Bad Boys and The Rock. It felt arrogant. Didn't like that.
Ambulance is a decent concept that goes on for way too long without the cops actually doing something about it. There are some incredulous moments, like the cop surviving a ruptured spleen by closing it with a hair clip. Granted, for a Michael Bay heist movie, it could've been so much worse. I give most of the credit to Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who are both knocking it out of the park the whole time.