‘Ambulance’ is supposed to draw in audiences. My question is to see what? If it’s to see fantastic action sequences and pulse-pounding moments, there are far better choices. Why not try ‘6 Underground’? That movie does not attempt to tell a plausible story but is entertaining with moments that will blow anyone away. Bay attempts to have his cake and eat it in ‘Ambulance.’ Armed with two fantastic actors, Jake Gyllenhall and Yaha Abdul-Mateen II, he tries telling his “robin hood” tale while weaving in a redemption narrative as well. It just doesn’t work.
Maybe Bay’s vision needed more of a budget? It seemed he attempted to make up for that with over-the-top camera shots and shooting so close to his leads that, at times, felt uncomfortable. I’m not sure how being that close to Gyllenhall or Abdul-Mateen II is supposed to increase the piece’s intensity, but he attempted to do that. The storyline is simple and a bit cliche. Essentially it’s the story of two brothers who went their opposite ways. One turned good, and the other didn’t. The good brother (Abdul-Matten II) finds himself in a financial situation as he needs to pay for his wife’s experimental surgery (eye roll). The rest is pretty clear-cut if you’ve seen the trailer. What gets lost in all of this is a damn good performance from Eliza Gonzalez, who plays the EMT in the back of the ambulance they hijack.
The only compelling element of this film is where Michael Bay will produce his next project. My guess is he will go with what studio gives him an enormous budget. Give the man a budget, and he will deliver. Give the man a restricted budget, and you get this.