Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
Ambulance Movie Review : A captivating film with an unnecessary blockbuster approach
Ambulance Review: William Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a war veteran who needs money for his wife’s medical bills, approaches his brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal) to help him out. However, Danny is a bank thief on the verge of a big heist, and he convinces Will to help on the job, which will set them up for life. Will reluctantly agrees but gets more than he signed up for when the heist goes wrong after a beat cop gets shot. Surrounded by law enforcement officers, the brothers are forced to hijack an ambulance with an EMT, Cam Thompson (Eiza Gonzalez) and the severely injured cop. Besides trying to escape, the brothers now need to keep their hostages alive.
‘Speed’ meets ‘Bad Boys’ with a dash of ‘Heat’ in this character-driven, action-packed drama written by Chris Fedak. Based on the 2005 Danish film of the same name, Michael Bay puts his trademark stamp to give it a blockbuster sheen. Both Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II are competent performers who do ample justice to their characters, Danny and Will, respectively. The siblings are given sufficient development before their plans go awry. Bay knows a thing or two about chases, and he keeps the tension turned up to the max. Even when the action slows down for the character moments, there’s always a sense of unease.
This works well for most of the film. However, the director’s distinct penchant for swooping camera movements and choppy editing often becomes a distraction. While the overblown visual dynamic of his previous work is scaled down here, Bay still doesn’t show the restraint needed for more nuanced fare. Ironically, the emotional scenes with Will, Danny and Cam are far more impactful than all the massive shootouts. With its gripping premise paired with engaging performances from all involved, ‘Ambulance’ could have made for a top-tier action drama. But it falls short simply because Michael Bay can’t help himself from his trademark style.