Film Review – Ambulance

Ambulance (MA)

Directed by: Michael Bay

Starring: Jake Gyllenahaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eliza Gonzalez

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Only Michael Bay could take a thriller set in a confined space and make it an epic action blockbuster that rivals his own destruction filled Transformer films. And that isn’t even a criticism.

Two LA based brothers who have lead different paths – Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen) is a returned war veteran and family man with money woes while Dannny Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a career criminal like their Dad – come back together for a $32 million bank heist.

When the heist goes awry and a cop is injured, the brothers hijack an ambulance, take hostage its feisty EMT Cam Thompson (Eliza Gonzalez) and her patient and are chased through the streets, alleys and the concreted LA River by the cops and FBI.

As if that isn’t enough drama to deal with, some criminal kingpins are also folded into the mix.

Based on the 2005 80 minute Denmark thriller, scriptwriter Chris Fedak and director Michael Bay have presumably added several characters, subplots and extended action sequences to blow this remake out to a whopping 136 minutes – and every choice they have made was the right one.

This is a breathless thriller that sets up a morally iffy scenario for maximum drama, populates it with likable characters and actors, and with Bay once again let off his leash, kinetic action in which the camera spins, whips and soars up, down and around almost every object in the frame.

Bay has always been gleeful with his over the top camerawork and this time it is like he has discovered the drone for the first time – almost as if he has found a second wind for film making.

Sure this wild ride gets more unnecessarily complicated and ridiculous as it goes along (this is Bay’s signature!) but if you were expecting logic, you have bought a ticket to the wrong film.

To some, this could be an exhausting and nauseating approach, however, with the right amount of humour and heart, this comes out a white knuckle winner.

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