Michael Bay’s new high-intensity drama, “Ambulance,” feels like an ode to the streets of LA and all the insane police chases that happen to occur in Southern California. With very little room for a sigh of relief, the high-octane suspense makes it hard to take your eyes off the dramatic acting of Jake Gyllenhaal and his co-stars.
Will Sharp, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, is a loving husband, father, and former soldier. However, when he can’t get his army medical benefits to cover his wife’s experimental surgery, he goes looking to his adopted sibling and career criminal Danny, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, for help.
Danny ropes Will into robbing a bank, like the good ole times, but things go terribly wrong when the two barely escape the bank heist and take an ambulance hostage with a gunshot wounded cop and a standoffish EMT named Cam played by Eiza Gonzáles.
The wounded officer, who was shot by them, needs surgery and is heavily bleeding out, but Danny makes Will drive around the city, trying to escape from the heavy police pressure slowly closing in on them. Although terrified, Cam is able to keep the officer alive with the help of Will’s blood and overall helpfulness.
As they get closer and closer to getting caught, Danny unravels and becomes a paranoid mess trying to find a way to escape. Danny is trying to live up to his father’s bank-robbing infamy, but Will just wants to escape the criminal life of his adoptive family.
The film, although highly entertaining, was extremely tense with little room to catch your breath in between extremely tense scenes. It was nail-biting to watch but left you feeling drained of energy once it was over.
Bay is known for making vigorous action-packed movies, and “Ambulance” is no different. The film has amazing drone footage of the chaotic scenes in LA, a long-running car chase, and uses iconic hotspots, like the LA River, to drive the story along.
Gyllenhaal’s character alone was the standout, and his psycho-manic approach to the character added to the high-strung intensity of it all. Abdul-Mateen II is the more empathetic of the two, but the less fun character, whose morals you root to stay on the good side. Gonzáles lacks powerful standout moments to shine and just falls to the wayside compared to her fellow leads.
Perfect for adrenaline junkies, “Ambulance” is an intense botched bank heist movie, and the wildly dangerous police chase is the cherry on top of this chaotic Michael Bay film. Despite the lack of slower points to draw out more emotional sides of the characters, the film’s intensity makes you feel as though you are in the ambulance with them. “Ambulance” is playing at most local theaters.