An Ambulance with Flat Tires . . . or Michael Bay’s on Life Support


Never has a film been more in need of a defibrillator than Michael Bay’s latest effort, Ambulance.

Implausible. Incomprehensible. Deafening. Seemingly never-ending with crass crash after crass crash. Bang. Bang. Mentally boorish. More bang-bang.

On the plus side, three nice actors will be richer. According to, Jake Gyllenhaal will now be banking $2.5 million, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II $700,00, and Eiza González $600,00, while my audiologist will rake in a measly $125.

Mr. Bay has bragged, "I make movies for teenage boys. Oh dear, what a crime." If Ambulance with its nonending collage of indistinguishable shootouts, vehicular pulverizations, and the eradication of two-thirds of the Los Angeles police force is the result, one can only despair that this crime is not punishable with a life-sentence, guillotining, or worse.

To add depth to dreck, scripter Chris Fedak, whose career highlights, according to press notes, includes selling glow-in-the-dark necklaces at Disney World, exploitatively backstories the "hero" of this tale, Will Sharp (Abdul-Mateen) with the past of a highly decorated Black veteran who once fought in Afghanistan. Will is now desperately trying to get the VA to pay for his wife's experimental surgery, but to no avail. In desperation for a job, he visits his white criminal brother, Danny (Gyllenhaal), whose family adopted Will when he was just a kid.

The pair haven't seen each other for years, but their loyalty to each other hasn't died, although a whole lot of other people will within the next two hours. You see this is the very day that the highly manic Danny and his gang of thugs are planning to rob a bank of $32 million. What could go wrong? Danny insists that Will join them in the heist to solve all of his family’s financial problems. Warily he agrees, but what was promised to be a pleasant walk in the bank becomes a gigantic fiasco, not unlike Ambulance itself.

Sadly, the film doesn't end there. Instead, we are forced to ride along on an O.J. Simpson-like car chase with Will and Danny in an ambulance they've highjacked, both initially unaware of the hard-as-nails yet lovely paramedic (González) who's trying to save the life of a shot cop in the rear. As a bonus, there's some closeups of delicate spleen manipulation at 100 miles an hour. Just imagine Fast and Spurious meets Grey's Anatomy. Not exactly a healing entertainment, although a terrific ad for ibuprofen.



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