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Michael Bay
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jake Gyllenhaal, Eiza González
Writing Credits:
Chris Fedak

Two robbers steal an ambulance after their heist goes awry.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English DVS
Spanish Dolby 7.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 136 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 6/14/2022

• “Bayhem” Featurette
• “Pedal to the Metal” Featurette
• “Aerial Assault” Featurette
• “Finding Ambulance” Featurette
• “Chase Capital of the World” Featurette
• “A Tribute to First Responders” Featurette
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Ambulance [4K UHD] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 9, 2022)

In 2007, Michael Bay essentially became all about Transformers, as he would direct five of those films over a 10-year span. He apparently left behind that franchise after 2017’s Last Knight, and 2022’s Ambulance becomes his second post-Transformers release.

Desperate for money to get medical care for his ailing wife Amy (Moses Ingram), military veteran Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) agrees to participate in a robbery organized by his adoptive brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal). However, this goes awry and they abduct police officer Zach (Jackson White) in an attempt to use the hostage to escape.

To complicate matters, Will accidentally shoots Zach. When an EMT crew headed by Cam Thompson (Eiza González) arrives on the scene, Danny hijacks the ambulance and then leads all involved on a wild ride through the streets of LA.

Back in the 90s and into the early 2000s, I used to defend Michael Bay. Sure, he offered the proverbial triumph of style over substance, and his movies could be dumber than the also proverbial box of rocks, but he delivered enough thrills and excitement for me to excuse these "sins".

Once we got further into the 2000s, though, Bay's movies went into a more obvious decline. He could still put out the occasionally semi-winner - like the underrated Pain and Gain - but it felt like he just succumbed to his own self-cliches and stopped bothering to stretch his cinematic legs.

Which brings us to Ambulance - or AmbuLAnce, if you prefer the stylized title. Here the director seems to have decided to be the Michael Bayest Michael Bay he could be and re-embrace the excesses of the 90s.

And that would be fine if his heart seemed to be in it. Hate him if you want, but the Bay of The Rockand Armageddon at least seemed committed to what he did.

Here Bay appears unsure how to approach the material in a manner that would tell the story well, so he just says "let's make the camera move a whole lot every second of the way". He clearly hopes that frenetic cinematography will convey the urgency and excitement that another filmmaker would demonstrate via little niceties like plot building and character development.

Bah - why bother with story and evolution when you can shake the camera like a Polaroid picture? Why actually attempt to tell a tale of interesting personalities when brief/cheap "exposition" will do?

Ambulance borrows from the Speed theme, as it comes with a moving vehicle that never - or rarely - stops. Here, though, no terrorist forces the characters to remain in perpetual motion.

Instead, the leads just decide they're like a shark who must swim or die, so that becomes the movie's excuse for why they drive drive drive drive drive. It makes no sense, of course, but Bay doesn't care about that.

Like Speed, Ambulance comes with a nearly comical real-world toll on potential connected casualties that the movie doesn't appear to consider. In both movies, authorities work to keep the lead vehicles on the go no matter how many civilians might get hurt or killed.

This becomes a concern with Speed if you think too hard, but the movie itself offers too much fun for me to worry about that. With Ambulance, the film lacks the escapism that allows me to ignore the borderline insane manner in which the cops endanger the public, however.

Ambulance tries to give us characters whose fates matter to us, but it flops. It makes the roles so thin and dull that I never care who lives or dies.

Ala Speed, if the thrills worked, I wouldn't mind this so much. However, Ambulance produces action that causes headaches instead of racing pulses.

A lot of that stems from the awful camerawork. I get it: this is who Bay is, and he's never going to abandon spinning/moving cameras.

Still, Bay rarely goes quite this insane with these techniques. Those who suffer from motion sickness due to "shakycam" should be leery of Ambulance - it doesn't go to Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield levels, but it seems likely to inspire some nausea.

It doesn't help that Ambulance runs far too long. At 136 minutes, it comes with a running time well past what would make sense.

Would a 105-minute Ambulance become a good film? No, but it would seem less padded and tedious than this one.

Bay might've hoped to recapture his 1990s mojo with Ambulance, but he failed. Instead, he made an idiotic and boring collection of car chases and ridiculous scenes that adds up to a headache-inducing dud.

Footnote: in the clever-clever vein, Ambulance characters make occasional references to prior Bay movies. This seems more likely to induce groans than laughs.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A/ Bonus C-

Ambulance appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Given the stylistic choices, the Dolby Vision image did fine.

Sharpness worked well. Even with a lot of “on the fly” photography, the movie felt accurate and well-defined.

No signs of moiré effects or jaggies occurred. The movie also lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

In terms of palette, Ambulance favored a strong sense of teal, with a bit of amber as well. Those choices came as no surprise – heck, Michael Bay “invented” the modern palette - and the disc reproduced them in a satisfactory manner, with an extra boost from HDR.

Blacks showed strong depth, and shadows were good, with nice opacity and clarity. Whites and contrast got a nice jolt from HDR. Expect a dynamic visual presentation here.

I felt consistently pleased with the immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Ambulance. Downcoverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the soundscape offered frequent room for information to emanate from the various speakers.

The mix used those chances well. The soundtrack delivered auditory material that spread out across the speakers in a satisfying manner and that blended together nicely.

This meant an active track in which the surrounds kept the mix humming. Plenty of action moments made this an impressive soundfield that also brought out environmental elements nicely.

Audio quality satisfied, as speech was natural and concise. Effects turned into the primary factor, and those elements appeared accurate and vivid.

Music played an active role as well, and the score came across as intended. Expect a strong sonic experience here.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both came with the same audio.

A true 4K product, the Dolby Vision image offered a more accurate and dynamic affair than the Blu-ray. While the latter looked fine, the 4K UHD kicked it up a notch.

Six featurettes fill out the disc, and Bayhem runs six minutes, 14 seconds. It provides info from from producer Bradley L. Fischer, executive producer Michael Kase, production designer Karen Frick, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Mike Gunther, writer Chris Fedak, and actors Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Eiza González.

“Bayhem” looks at the alleged greatness of director Michael Bay and the crazed nature of his approach to the material. Expect a lot of praise and little substance.

Pedal to the Metal spans nine minutes, 34 seconds and involves Gyllenhaal, Abdul-Maheen, González, Kase, Fedak, Frick, Gunther, Fischer, transportation/picture car coordinator Joey Freitas, Falck Director of Marketing and Communications Jeff Lucia, and actor Jackson White.

Here we cover the movie’s titular vehicle and shooting action in/around it. Though still fluffy, “Metal” at least delivers a few decent insights.

Next comes Aerial Assault, a five-minute, eight-second reel with Kase, Gyllenhaal, drone coordinator Davis Dilillo, FPV drone pilot Alex Vanover, and supervising location manager Rob Gibson.

“Assault” discusses the use of aerial photography. It proves moderately informative.

After this we go to Finding Ambulance, a five-minute, 34-second reel that includes remarks from Gyllenhaal, Abdul-Mateen, González, Fedak, Fischer, Kase, and Falck Director of Clinical Operations Dannie Wurtz.

In this piece, we get notes about the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and perfornances. We find mostly happy talk here.

Chase Capital of the World lasts three minutes, 58 seconds and offers comments from Gyllenhaal, González, Abdul-Mateen, Fedak, Fischer, Kase, Frick, Gibson, and producer Ian Bryce.

“World” discusses the movie’s locations. It adds a few decent notes.

Finally, we get a six-minute, 54-second Tribute to First Responders. It features Gyllenhaal, Fedak, González, Fischer, Wurtz, Lucia, Kase, Bryce, Gibson, LAPD consultant/actor Jamie McBride, retired Navy SEAL/actor Remi Adeleke, and actors Garret Dillahunt, Cedric Sanders, Olivia Stambouliah and Colin Woodell.

As expected, we get praise for first responders, though told within the production’s context, so we get info about how the filmmakers attempted accuracy. It becomes a passable overview.

A second disc provides a Blu-ray copy of Ambulance. It includes the same extras as the 4K.

The Blu-ray opens with ads for The Outfit, Blacklight and Studio 666. No trailer for Ambulance appears here.

Given his natural over the top style, it seems unclear if Michael Bay can go too far. If he can, then he does so with Ambulance, a frantic affair more annoying than entertaining. The 4K UHD comes with strong picture and audio as well as a mediocre roster of bonus materials. Bay used to make fun movies but Ambulance finds him on cruise control.

To rate this film visit the Blu-ray review of AMBULANCE

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