A Marine Vet Takes the Wheel in LA Heist Thriller ‘Ambulance’

Ambulance Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Jake Gyllenhaal

In Michael Bay’s pandemic-era thriller, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays Will Sharp, a Navy veteran whose wife faces certain death if he cannot raise $210,000 for her surgery. Unfortunately, Sharp’s only option is to pull off a supposedly easy bank robbery with his brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Things go awry and the brothers hijack an ambulance and lead all kinds of police on a long chase across Los Angeles as they try to escape with their lives and the money. The film is now available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital after a theatrical release in April 2022.

Why is this a pandemic-era thriller? “Transformers” and “13 Hours” director Bay was tired of waiting to create his next mega-budget extravaganza and instead shot a story that he could film quickly and cheaply (by his standards). The public gets real car wrecks with a minimum of computer effects.

This fast and loose approach required Mateen to do a lot more driving than most actors would be allowed to do. The studio premiered a clip featuring screen frenzy that talks about the risks the production took to get an actor behind the wheel.

The most spectacular footage in “Ambulance” was shot with the latest drone cameras piloted by young drone hotshots Bay recruited for production.

The Blu-ray featurette “Making Noise” shows exactly where the director comes from. Seeing the man behind major Hollywood car crashes charting the sidewalk using Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars should be an inspiration to the 8-year-old in any adult moviegoer.

Bay likes to work with spec ops guys on his movies. He has hired military advisers whenever possible and cast veterans in small roles in most of his films. This time, he’s brought back former SEAL Remi Adeleke, who appeared in Bay’s films “6 Underground” and “Transformers: The Last Knight” as one of the LAPD Special Investigation Section (SIS) agents trying to catch the robbers.

Is ‘Ambulance’ a military drama? Not exactly. Will Sharp couldn’t do the things he needs to do to save his family if he hadn’t had military training, and no one else on the heist team has the strength of character Sharp clearly learned in the Marine Corps.

The film features some of the best car chase scenes in movie history. If that’s your thing, don’t miss it.

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