Ambulance Parent Guide
The profanity is overwhelming but the movie is fast-moving and sometimes entertaining.
Parent Movie Review
Although he spent his adult life serving with the Marine Corps in Afghanistan, Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) now finds himself struggling to pay the bills. His wife, Amy (Moses Ingram), has a rare form of cancer that requires a highly experimental surgery, a procedure his insurance company refuses to cover. Scrambling for the cash, he goes to the last person he wants to see - his adoptive brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal). Danny always took after his father, a psychotic thief, and has supported himself by robbing banks. For better or worse, Danny has a big job planned, and he’s willing to cut Will in on the action for a take somewhere in the neighborhood of 32 million dollars.
As with everything else, bank robbery seldom goes as planned, and Will and Danny soon find themselves trying to escape in a stolen ambulance, complete with a kidnapped paramedic (Eliza Gonzalez) and a police officer (Jackson White), who was shot during the robbery. With the entirety of the LAPD hunting them down, all that stands between them and a messy showdown with a SWAT team are Will’s driving skills and Cam’s ability to keep the cop alive.
I’m very hesitant to say anything good about a Michael Bay movie. This is the man, after all, responsible for the seemingly never-ending parade of Transformers movies, which I think is punishable as a crime against humanity in some jurisdictions. If it’s not, it should be. I don’t want to encourage him, you know?
The problem is that this is actually a fun action movie. It feels like an exciting, if completely brainless, summer blockbuster from the 90s. The changing situation inside and outside the ambulance forces the characters to make dramatic choices, and every choice pushes them down increasingly dangerous paths. The film is less reliant on shootouts than car chases, which keeps the action, literally, moving.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a flawless piece of entertainment. Bay’s penchant for dramatic camera movement and fast editing sometimes works, but other times it feels like you’re trying to watch drone footage on a VR headset while riding a roller coaster. It made me a bit queasy on a few occasions, which takes some doing. Bay has also degenerated into referencing his own films, namely The Rock and Bad Boys. I guess he’s just groping for the last time people liked his movies, but it’s pretty depressing that he has to reach that far.
If you can find it in your heart to forgive the director for the past crimes of making five unspeakable CGI-trainwrecks featuring Shia LaBeouf, this flick is…tolerable. It pains me to say it, but I kind of had fun. Sort of. Almost. But I’m just going to chalk that up to Jake Gyllenhaal pushing his crazy eyes up to eleven for pretty much the entire runtime. Otherwise, I’d be forced to give Michael Bay credit….and boy does that rub me the wrong way.Directed by Michael Bay. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Eiza González, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Running time: 136 minutes. Theatrical release April 8, 2022. Updated April 7, 2022
Watch the trailer for Ambulance
Rating & Content Info
Why is Ambulance rated R? Ambulance is rated R by the MPAA Intense violence, bloody images and language throughout.
Violence: Characters are shot and injured in car accidents, physical altercations, and explosions. A character is seen receiving an emergency splenectomy in graphic detail. An injured girl is shown with blood on her clothes and an object piercing her abdomen.
Sexual Content: There is a brief reference to a sexually transmitted disease.
Profanity: There are 111 uses of sexual expletives, 77 scatological curses, and occasional use of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult is seen smoking cigars. A character references a former amphetamine addiction, but no drugs are seen or used on screen.
Page last updated April 7, 2022
Ambulance Parents' Guide
Paramedics are extremely prone to post traumatic stress and burnout. What resources are available to them in your area? How can we make help more available to first responders?
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Jake Gyllenhaal has appeared on the side of the police on several occasions, including End of Watch, Prisoners, and The Guilty. Other films about robbery include Baby Driver(which also stars Eliza Gonzalez), Heat, The Old Man and the Gun, Den of Thieves, The Town, and Stockholm. If you’re more interested in hostage negotiations, try Captain Phillips, Speed, Windfall, and The Taking of Pelham 123. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II also recently starred in the horror classic remake Candyman.