Remember how Michael Bay was always considered over indulgent with his 1990s action films? “The Rock” was only his second feature film after being a go-to music video helmer for the early part of the decade.
If you’d said then that Bay, with his rapid editing style and widescreen sheen would one day be an Oscar contender people just arched their eyes.
Flash cut to 2022 and Bay is back in the saddle because he’s actually made an honest to goodness kick ass action film isn’t a sequel and won’t give birth to a sequel.
“Ambulance” will be remembered for many drone shots that feature the camera swooping through seemingly impassable passages. That’s not the mention more than one swooping shot from the top of a building shot that shotgun propels the viewer into the action.
Not to be quaint, Bay rolls out a reference to “The Rock” with one character mentioning his 1996 actioner. Another younger character thinks they’re referring to Dwayne Johnson, himself the star of another of Bay’s better films, 2013’s “Pain and Gain.”
“Ambulance” unwinds in real time, taking place in Los Angeles over the period of an afternoon. The entire film chronicles a bank heist gone wrong and the attempts of the robbers to escape by hijacking the titular ambulance.
There’s a tip of the hat to the style of the late Tony Scott in Bay’s direction of “Ambulance.” A connection that links all the supporting players involved in the greater picture is constantly being hammered home. It seems like there’s over a dozen supporting characters who contribute to the suspense on hand while also revealing quirky character traits. Good time at the cinema.