‘Ambulance’ Is a Comedic, Action-Packed Ride From Start to Finish
4/5 blaring sirens.
I didn’t know what the tone of Ambulance would be when I went into my screening. At first, I thought that maybe this movie was going to be more on the serious side of Michael Bay’s career and it’d be a high-action drama, if anything. But then Jake Gyllenhaal’s Danny Sharp said that Braveheart had a lot of Grammy nominations and I fully understood what this movie was, and I was on board.
One of the funniest action movies I’ve seen in recent years, Ambulance finds a way to release the tension that it builds with moments that both seem completely out of nowhere and yet make you understand these wild characters better than anything else could.
A movie that prides itself on quick turns (literally, it’s a car chase for most the movie), Ambulance never has a dull moment, and even Bay’s use of drones in his filming proves to be a fun time. Most of the movie does feel like a fever dream when you break it down, like Garret Dillahunt’s Captain Monroe stopping an entire car chase as an FBI detective simply because his dog, which he brought with him to the manhunt, is now in a cop car that’s following his suspects.
The only characters who seem to understand the stakes of what’s happening are Eiza González’s Cam Thompson and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Will Sharp. And even then, there’s an entire moment when Will FaceTimes his wife to (I assume) tell her about what’s happening, but instead pretends like he got a job driving and then wants to see their son, and she just doesn’t clock that he’s in an ambulance or that Danny is talking?
A million storylines in one
The movie focuses on the Sharp brothers. Danny’s father (who used to run the operation) took Will in as his own son, and both Danny and Will grew up only knowing each other as brothers. It’s honestly sweet if you take out the fact that Danny ropes Will into a bank robbery, guilting him into helping. But their relationship and Will’s strange need to help Danny comes across in a way that makes sense because of their shared history, where even if they had been best friends, there comes a moment where you’d have to say “enough” with the shenanigans that Danny was pulling.
But because they’re brothers, they both just want to get out of this situation they put themselves into, alive and well, for Will’s family. It’s what makes the two singing a song to calm down in the MIDDLE of the chase (and singing it off key) so funny and yet sweet, because you can see how much they actually care.
Cam trying to do her job
One thing that Danny continually yells is that they need to make sure not to kill a cop in the process of their caper, mainly because he knows that the police won’t care if a civilian gets caught in the crossfire but that if a cop is hurt, they’ll stop at nothing to get justice. Which … is basically the entire movie. Like, for the one rookie cop who got shot that the movie made a Big Deal about, about 15 others died, so … there’s that!
Cam is the EMT who arrives to pick up the shot cop, but when they’re ambushed by Danny and Will trying to escape, she’s forced to keep him alive so that both Danny and Will can escape. It results in Will giving him blood, the two bonding, and Danny just going off the rails in a panic to get out of this botched robbery in one piece.
This movie will have you yelling, hooting, probably saying “WEEEEEEE” when the camera goes up really high on a Los Angeles skyscraper, only to quickly descend into the action, and you’ll have a fun time throughout. Michael Bay knows how to make an action movie that’s worth your time, and that’s exactly what Ambulance is.
Ambulance is in theaters now.
(featured image: Universal Pictures)
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