COLUMN: “Ambulance” is an exhilarating film


Drew Coffey

Drew Coffey, Columnist

“Ambulance” was recently released on April 8, 2022, and is directed by Michael Bay. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Eiza González.

It tells the story of two brothers who are hunted by the police after a bank robbery goes wrong. Seeking temporary refuge in an ambulance, with an injured police officer and a paramedic as hostages, the brothers desperately try to evade the police of Los Angeles.

This is among the many action films director Michael Bay has become famous for with large, dazzling explosions and sweeping camera angles being notable staples of his style. While these aspects might become nonsensical or unrealistic to many viewers, “Ambulance” delivers them as a thrilling and entertaining.

The airborne camera angles that make you feel as though you are watching the events from a helicopter are very impressive and help the audience feel the tension of the situation. The shaky camera style is also used to stimulate a sense of pressure putting us in the shoes of the characters.

However, at times these visual techniques can become a little repetitive and overused by the end of the film.

The performances in this film are also particularly good and appropriate for a fun action film.

Gyllenhaal gives us an unhinged and occasionally funny character, opposing his brother who is more sympathetic towards others. He is clearly having a blast playing such an erratic and unpredictable criminal who is consistently looking for a way out of the situation.

Eiza González also gives a decent performance as the paramedic taken as a hostage in the police chase. She does a wonderful job of playing the character of a fierce young woman, but also expresses the overwhelming nature of the situation.

However, while the acting is good in this film, the amount of time we are given with the characters before the failed bank robbery is lacking. While this could be to get to the action as quickly as possible, it feels as if the characterization of the two brothers, as well as the paramedic, could have been delved into deeper.

Another aspect of “Ambulance” that sets it back is that it simply goes on for too long.

From the beginning of this film, it is unrelenting action and suspense. However, as it goes on, the film overstays its welcome with unnecessary conflicts and obstacles for the characters, leaving the viewer to check their watches.

There are also many slight problems with the script when thinking back on the film, such as the planning of the bank robbery at the start of the film and the decision of the characters as the story progresses. With this, the film moves at such a fast pace that these scriptwriting issues are hidden within the overwhelming plot.

In the end, “Ambulance” is a competently made, fun and self-aware film that knows exactly what it needs to deliver and does it accordingly.

My overall rating is 4/5.

Drew Coffey is a freshman television and video production major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]