I believe that director Michael Bay took Transformers a little too far, that he overdid that franchise. And I was concerned that his latest movie, Ambulance, would be just another explosive Transformers style movie. But Ambulance is actually a suspenseful, high-octane chase thriller and it’s one of Michael Bay’s better films.
The two actors behind this excellent film are Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Put those two in a film about a heist gone wrong and you have the makings of a daring thrill ride, which is just how I would describe Ambulance.
Ambulance takes place in Los Angeles. Adoptive brothers Danny (Gyllenhaal) and Will (Mateen II) plan a bank heist to help Will’s wife out of financial problems. Danny has a criminal background and lots of money for a well-funded heist, but things don’t go as planned. Their crew makes some critical mistakes, and the bank they rob ends up being swarmed by a SWAT team. Danny and Will initially escape on foot, and then they hijack an ambulance, hence the name of the film. What Danny and Will don’t initially realize is that in the back of the ambulance is a critically wounded person and a paramedic, Cam Thompson, played by Eiza Gonzalez. With intense media coverage, the fleeing ambulance drama comes to a boiling point.
I found myself amazed by the performances of Gyllenhaal and Mateen II as Danny and Will. Danny is totally focused on their escape and sees himself as a criminal mastermind, despite getting he and his brother in an incredibly sticky situation. Will is focused too, but his focus is just on making it home.
Ambulance is definitely one of Michael Bay’s best films in a while. I loved the whole experience. It felt like an amusement park ride mixed with a human version of Tetris. It is a heist film taken to new heights. Three and a half stars for Ambulance.