Some days ago, Steven Colbert made a joke about there being a “Good Michael Bay Movie”, as if that would be something that would ever happen or if it did it would be extremely rare.
For decades, Michael Bay has been known for making bad music video-like movies with rapid fire scene changes, too much panning around characters, no story, no continuity, no sequential line of thought. The very worst being all of the 5 Transformer movies he produced and directed, that were arguably some of the very worst movies ever made. Despite all of this, Bay is worth 450 million dollars and in what other profession could opinions be this low along with so many movies and so much money?
There was a commercial I saw on Hulu advertising the release of Bay’s latest movie “Ambulance”, and even in the advertisement there was mention of Bay’s talent for making horrible movies, saying that this time around Ambulance is a winner. The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for Ambulance is only 69% – which for Bay is one of his highest rated movies. For me, this movie did have some of the constant camera panning and some inane bouncing around, but overall, this film did work and was enjoyable with a sequential, connected and understandable story. The two main characters of Ambulance are former Afghanistan soldiers who are bank robbers both disgruntled about having no futures after their tours of duties ended, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and relative newcomer Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Mateen was very believable throughout these two hours. The majority of this film has to do with two bank robbers running from the police with an injured police officer and an emergency medic played very well by Eiza González. Some of these scenes are believable, some are not, ultimately resulting in too much of this movie devoted to standard police car chases and constant crashes.
Despite all of this, I give Ambulance a marginal recommendation.