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Ambulance (2022) Movie Review: The Good and The Bad

An amateur film review writer who likes pretty much every film genre.

Once again, Michael Bay demonstrates his love for America, passion for fast and muscular cars, interest in the armed forces, and undeniable obsession with sunsets.

Ambulance follows decorated veteran Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Matee), who is desperate for money to pay his wife's medical bills. He seeks assistance from his adoptive brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal), who offers him a score: the largest bank robbery in Los Angeles history.

The premise is straightforward, but with Michael Bay at the helm, nothing is straightforward. His directorial style pervades the film, which some may enjoy while others will find overwhelming at best. Ambulance, on the other hand, is a watchable film, unlike his previous works Underground 6 and the Transformers franchise.

With that in mind, let us delve into the film and examine both its positive and negative aspects.

From left to right, Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen) and Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal)

From left to right, Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen) and Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal)

The Bad

1. Wasted Character Development

As the film progressed, it became clear that character development was never the film's primary goal.

This is such a waste given that they established a nice plot thread early on that could have been developed. Will Sharp's desire to assist his wife, as well as Will and Danny's step-sibling relationship, are all solid foundations for a good story about people facing and overcoming life's challenges. But nothing was done beyond what was established.

Character development, on the other hand, is for losers in a Michael Bay movie.

2. The Bad Traits of Michael Bay Directorial Style

Michael Bay is known for his big-budget, high-concept action films with fast-cutting, stylistic cinematography, and visuals, as seen in his work on the Transformers franchise. And much of his style can be seen in Ambulance.

To name a few, you get his spinning camera work as characters talk to one another and the fast cutting in action scenes so much that you can't tell what's going on.

Some may enjoy his style of work, but it can be difficult to watch at times in this movie. Just to say though, it should be noted that it is not as bad as Transformers: The Last Knight (2017).

One of the many Ambulance (2022) chase scene

One of the many Ambulance (2022) chase scene

3. Way Too Long

Early on, it was mentioned how simple the movie's premise is. With such a simple story, the running time should not have exceeded two hours. At most, you'd get 90 minutes for the movie.

There are a few subplots that feel like they stayed too long. The side characters aren't nearly as interesting or funny as they would like. There are a few things in the film that are unnecessary.

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It's incredible that the director had the time to include a dog story in his movie rather than developing Will and Danny's past and present relationship.

4. Far too Many Dumb Moments

The heist scene in the first act is a prime example of a string of stupid moments. There will be no spoilers here, but there are many dumb moments during the heist. It was like a sitcom about making the worst decision of your life every time you got the chance.

Other instances exist, but they are not as egregious as the heist scene. Keep that in mind if you want to watch the movie.

Okay, the bad parts of the film are over. Now for the good stuff.

The Good

1. Entertaining…at Times

Despite the infuriatingly stupid moments and Michael Bay's bad habit as a director, Ambulance is not by any means his worst work. It's still a bad film, but it's not as bad as Transformers: The Last Knight (2017). At least, Ambulance offer some form of entertainment…at times. There are a few scenes and lines of dialogue that are just silly enough to be entertaining without being tedious to watch.

And a lot of that is due to the actors knowing the film they are in and simply doing their best with the material given to them. Speaking of the cast…

Eiza González as Cam Thompson

Eiza González as Cam Thompson

2. Solid Performances from Everybody

Everyone in this film who appears on-screen is aware of the type of film they are in. They are aware that the film is ridiculous and should never be taken seriously. And it shows in their performances.

As Danny, Jake Gyllenhaal in particular was in full maniacal weirdo mode throughout the film. He was simply amusing to watch. And the rest of the cast did an excellent job of incorporating human emotion whenever possible.

The cast did nothing spectacular in their roles, but you can certainly enjoy watching them onscreen.

3. Impressive Drone Work

This writer truly believes that Michael Bay wanted to make this movie because he discovers drones. The number of drone shots in this film is insane.

Bay and his team, on the other hand, know how to use drones effectively. The camera shots taken by the drones used in the film are truly impressive. It's a minor detail, but if it's noteworthy, it deserves to be discussed.

Jake Gyllenhaal doing his best once again

Jake Gyllenhaal doing his best once again


Ambulance is a typical Michael Bay movie. By that, I mean the good ones. If you've seen any of his previous work, you already know what to expect. Despite its flaws, the movie is genuinely enjoyable to watch. At the very least, this writer was able to finish a Michael Bay movie this time.

Ambulance receives a modest score of 2.5/5.

© 2022 Fadhli Dzil

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