An Absurdly Fun Throwback by Michael Bay

An armed robbery goes awry in the new action thriller Ambulance. Michael Bay’s long run of fast-paced, stylized action films continues with a mid-budget movie exclusively in theaters starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as two brothers who rob a bank and escape in an ambulance. This is a type of movie that we don’t see very often anymore, but 2022 has given us pleasant surprises like moon fall, Costumeand Marry me. Fortunately, this is an excellent addition to the growing list of entertaining movies with standout performances this year.

These days, every commercially successful movie is either a superhero blockbuster, a sequel, or a remake. While this is an American remake of an obscure 2005 Danish movie, people buying tickets to this movie may not know this. Instead, people will buy tickets to this movie because they saw the trailers and saw big, loud entertainment with Gyllenhaal’s handsome beard front and center. This movie delivers on everything the trailer promises and more, giving audiences a cinematic experience like no other.

Ambulance It doesn’t start with your standard explosive Bayhem but with the emotional center of the film and the goal of the protagonist. Will Sharp (Abdul-Mateen), a war veteran, spends his days on the phone with medical companies. His wife needs surgery he can’t afford, and the two of them are raising a young son. This motivates Will to participate in an armed robbery with his adoptive brother, Danny (Gyllenhaal). While Will is subdued and sympathetic in his acting, Danny is a loose cannon, willing to go to any lengths to get the job done. This mismatched duo have chemistry and sometimes work well together while also having tension due to their differences.

The first act is an excellent preparation for when everything gets going. The brothers rob an ambulance with EMT Cam Thompson (Eiza Gonzalez) and seriously injure Officer Zach (Jackson White) in the back. What follows is one of the most intense hours of cinema we’ve seen in years. This is an era of Bay that we haven’t seen since the 1990s when he made bad boys and The rock, two films explicitly referenced in one of the most meta-films of his career. This endless thrill ride set under the scorching Los Angeles sun has the shootouts of Heat and the vehicular adrenaline of Speed.

A throwback to a bygone era of action movies doesn’t get much tastier than this, like a one-day thriller with claustrophobic scenes in an ambulance and non-stop tension. The inclusion of an innocent EMT and a policeman about to bleed out makes the film that much more exciting as their lives are constantly in danger throughout the film. The movie’s premise rarely gives the characters a chance to breathe, making it the most exciting movie of the year.

Chris Fedak’s script allows for moments of humor that don’t kill the film’s eternal suspense. This gargantuan car chase flick seems wrapped like a gift to Bay’s directing style, as I struggle to remember a time when the camera remained locked on a tripod. Instead, the camera is constantly moving, and the dizzying instability of the film is a perfect match for the sheer intensity of the film. Bay also uses drone shots to capture surprising angles of his action sequences. It takes the movie a bit of time to complete Bayhem, but once the time is right, the movie delights us all with booms, pows, and bangs.

Gyllenhaal gives a great performance as a deranged criminal. His loud, manic energy is what this film needed to overdo, and Mateen’s more nuanced character needed to be contrasted. Gonzalez gives a dedicated performance as Cam, a talented EMT who isn’t interested in the effects of her job. She is superb, and her character has the most important arc in the movie. Finally, Bay moves away from her typical female patriotism and objectification and offers a more detailed look at how the characters are affected by her situation.

It’s undeniable how absurd this movie can be. This movie features unlikely events and ridiculously stupid moments, but sometimes that’s not a problem. Ambulance it’s a movie you enjoy with a big buttery tub of popcorn. It features the talents of Oscar-nominated lead actor Gyllenhaal and Hollywood’s newest gem Abdul-Mateen, all wrapped up with LA Bay. It’s a movie that will make your heart race from the intense, action-packed show and your ears tingle from the impeccable sound design.

SCORE: 8/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equals “Excellent.” While there are some minor issues, this score means that the art is successful in its goal and leaves a memorable impact.

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