Ambulance reviewed by Mark Kermode
The first one is when you know jake gyllenhaal said what i loved about the script and um, which i think is is kind of significant, because okay, so michael bay makes unfilmed michael bay generally. Okay – and you know watching a michael bay film is like being shouted at whilst hit over the head with a stick of dynamite. Subtlety is not his register. Thats fine! You yourself pointed out. This is based on a danish film that is a nippy, 80 minutes and very sake, and zany and quirky yeah tonally very different uh. This is also not to be confused. Theres, a larry cohen, film called the ambulance and when somebody said its a remake, i wondered originally whether they theyd replay that thats a very, very different film as well. So what this is is as with all michael bay films, its pumped up its you know its overblown its overwrought, and it is honestly over long theres no need for this film to be the length that it is um. And perhaps you know one way of thinking of it is that its speed in an ambulance um, so the setup as we had there is that two two brothers, through a plot set up, which is at very best perfunctory one of them, is a good guy arrives. You know the other guy, he says im going to do a heist and youre going to come with me. Oh all, right and the next thing theyre going to do this house, which again, as you said, goes wrong almost instantly.
Yes, almost from before its almost like, you think getting somebody involved in a job which is happening now. This second, probably not a very good move. Anyway, things go badly wrong. They find themselves in a ambulance which they are driving in which there is a policeman who has been shot. Who the plot says to us. They have to keep alive because otherwise they will be guilty of having you know, having committed murder and ace gonzalez is the the paramedic who is then effectively a hostage who th this hostage. Situation is okay. You must keep this policeman, you know alive. Whilst we do what our getaway thing is because we cant be seen as being cop killers, no, on the other hand, as you and i said immediately, we came out everyone else, thats involved in the carnage and the car crashes and the chases and the boom crashy Explosions doesnt seem to matter so there is a fundamental plot flaw which is hang on so the whole of this is happening so that hes, okay, but everyone else is collateral and when i say everyone else is collateral, i mean the amount of cars that flip upside Down burst into flames, career off bridges, go to the blues brothers isnt it a quite regular basis, yeah – and you remember the bit at the end of the blues brothers. When, when the fall, you know the car falling and it just becomes more and more ridiculous until effectively its being dropped out of a helicopter.
Well, it even has the helicopters out of which it may have been dropped. So there was something sort of quite funny about jake gyllenhaal, saying well what i really liked about the script because you go. Oh yeah there was a script thats right. There are also some probably decent performances in there, although its very hard to tell because, as with all michael bays films, its so shouty and overstated that its very hard to tell also worth pointing out that this isnt filmed in michael bay. But it is also unfilmed alex vanover, who is the drone racing league world champion who is flying the fpv drone with evie? First person viewer drone, okay, with which michael bay has become completely infatuated. Very true. There is some on set footage of the guy. You know you have the headset on like the virtual reality headset and you fly the drone and you see what the drone is seeing so thats. Why first person view – and this guy is an amazing drone pilot absolutely astonishing, but its like in the its like some michael bays, gone thats, great thats cool lets, use that, for the whole film, every five minutes, regardless of whats happening, so the drone comes in. It flies up, it goes down, it goes swirly, it goes down, it goes around. Some people walk down the corridor. The drone flies the other way over their heads. Somebody picks their nose. The drone flies around and goes up their nostrils.
Some two people having a conversation, the drone goes in the trails theres another thing and youre going. Okay, i get that the drones, a neat thing, but you know uh. Could you just maybe back it off a little bit, because is it necessary to have every single shot doing that its like a football? I know this wont make any sense to you, but when a footballer is showboating and just showing off for the sake of it, it does feel like that. Why did you do that? Fancy little flip in the corner and then drop down the wall just drop down the wall, yeah yeah, well, heres. The weird thing is that the other thing is that in the past i have criticized michael bay for having this kind of. You know pornographic action sensibility that there was a lot of michael bays previous movies, particularly in the case of transformers that had that kind of leering you know upskirt aesthetic. This is a kind of up building aesthetic its like whoa. Look at that look at the bridge on that and look at the thing on that, but it is still the whole michael bay kind of which fine. If you were doing that for 80 minutes, you could probably get away with it. And i have seen films in which the construct of a particular visual gag can be sustained for 80 minutes. I think when youre doing it over something thats, you know two: what is it two hours? Nineteen two hours, something like that? It feels longer.
You need something different, the performances are okay. Well, you know, jake gyllenhaal does shouty and um abdomen team. Does moody angers eyes does her best to keep a straight face, even when what shes doing i mean theres, a sequence in it in which shes performing life saving surgery in the back of an ambulance on the telephone to a surgeon on the golf course and but Shes managing to keep a straight face and michael bay is doing the michael bay thing, which is that everything is exploding and when i say everything is exploding, i mean everything is exploding, including bodily parts. Its everything is exploding, theres also a couple of shots in it. In which i mean it starts with the kind of you know, the burnished sky of la and the title card goes los angeles, and then it goes la you go. I know and then ambulance oh thats in la yeah, fine and oh fine, but so now i know we are because weve gone to the la river, where every movie ever has been shot and theres a bit when the ambulance is under the and the guy says. Okay, i need you to get in there really close, and you know scare him out from under the bridge. You go why? Oh well! The reason why is so that i can do a ground level shot up with the ambulance with one of the whirly copters going that way and one of the whirly copters going that way, its nothing theres, no reason for this to happen at all, but it will Look cool hes, a whirly cop.
To the same as a helicopter, yeah, okay, i decided shes good whirlycopters, so i mean overall its one of my least unfavorite michael bay films um its there are. There are things in it that are kind of fun. Its way too long its you know, this plot makes absolutely no sense at all. The dialogue is either shouty or moody, um, Music and its its kind of oh michael, really and probably in there. There is an 80 minute bee picture struggling to get out its all right, its your least favorite, its my least favorite, my least unfavorite michael bay, film. Yes, it is the michael bay film that i dislike.