Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González
Directed by Michael Bay
Ambulance Movie Review: Prey tell, what is the monarch of method acting Jake Gyllenhaal doing in a Michael Bay flick about the hunter and the hunted? It’s like Dilip Kumar doing Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal franchise.
For my time and money Michael Bay is the Rohit Shetty of Bollywood. A ‘Bay’-watch is porn- fun provided you enjoy watching expensive cars crash and burn. Each time one of these combustive events overtake the reed-thin plot in Ambulance I could see thousands of dollars going up in flames.
In fact at one point in the chase daze that Michael ‘Shetty’ Bay unveils, a female character stops short in her squealing tracks to comment, ‘You are watching a very expensive chase.’
This is probably eligible as in-house joke, just like that montage in Boot Polish where Raj Kapoor appears as vagabond for a scene and someone screams, “Ekdum Raj kapoor dikhte ho’.Touche!
Well,fancy that, Small shrunken world when ground-level tastes are the same everywhere . Ambulance is the visual equivalent of tatkaal booking in trains: reservation is incumbent entirely on last-minute cancellations. A burnt-out energy governs the pumped-up action of Ambulance. Michael Bay, as we all know, specializes in slick visual action with vast landscapes covered with nisy choppers , toxic smoke and a desperate energy . Bay’s Bad Boys and Transformers series got by on the strength of optimum optical opulence.
There is not much one can do in the way of spatial spectacle when a majority of the action happens inside a speeding ambulance in Ambulance . That’s where most of the flimsy drama unfolds in this terrible remake of an awful Danish film. with two bank robbers played by Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen 2 playing adoptive brothers making a desperate run for freedom with the loot.
Nothing can compare with the director’s desperation to rivet our attention for every second. No shot is allowed to be longer than 4-5 seconds. The fanatical frenzy gets to a point where actors are edited out almost before they can finish a sentence.
Not that anyone has anything to say of any import. The one redemptive stroke in Michael Bay’s cinema was its self-directed humour. In Ambulance the “jokes” amidst the spurts of bloodshed(literally, as at one point in the speeding plot a para-medic performs an emergency surgery in the hurling ambulance , the blood gushes out, thankfully this is not a 3D film) are tiresomely trite. Somebody makes a reference to the Michael Bay directed Sean Connery starrer The Rock, to which his partner replies, “Oh, that’s Dwayne Johnson.”
Come on, Rohit Shetty can do better. The action sequences are tolerably taut on the large screen. But the screenplay sucks and the dialogues are the pits. The performances range from the strange(Garrett Dillahunt as the police chief) to the deranged(Gyllenhaal screaming and ranting like a hammy hamster). Amidst all the madness of a Bay-watch gone maddeningly south, the pretty Eiza González playing a fugitive para-medic tries to make sense of her role . But it’s a losing battle.
Ambulance is a hellraiser determined to shoot itself in its foot with the clumsiest of WTF directorial manoeuvres.In the pre-action prelude Gyllenhaal introduces a colleague as ‘Mel Gibson….The guy from Braveheart which won many Grammys(sic.).’
Oscar being way out of league for this one, the Grammy sounds more in keeping with the demented aspirations of Ambulance.