One of the biggest (and most surprising) flops of the year so far was AmbulanceMichael Bay’s return to the world of (slightly) more grounded action movies after years in the wilderness of bad transformers sequels The film featured a strong premise, a great cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza Gonzalez and Garret Dillahunt, and some of the most dynamic camera work of Bay’s entire career.
Ambulance it also earned Michael Bay his best reviews in at least a decade. Mine was among them. Earlier this spring, I wrote here on ScreenCrush that the film had “a perfect setup for a lean, taut 85-minute thriller” and a first act, a broad daylight bank heist, that “is clearly one of the best things”. [Bay’s] Have you ever done.”
Despite all that, Ambulance bombed in theaters, grossing just $22 million in the US and another $29 million overseas. Bay’s movies typically make that much money in a single weekend. Not this time. While theaters have recovered somewhat in recent months following the Covid pandemic, the fate of Ambulance – an escapist popcorn thriller with big stars and a big director – didn’t speak well for the health of the theatrical industry for anything beyond the confines of big plays or sequels to big franchises.
If you were among the many people who were lost Ambulance in theaters because you felt “Hey, it’s not a Marvel movie, I don’t need to worry about being spoiled, I’ll just watch it on the broadcast” today is your day because Ambulance now it’s streaming. You can see it right now on Peacock.
This is the official synopsis of the film:
In this Michael Bay-directed action thriller, veteran Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the candy man), desperate for money, turns to his foster brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal, End of watch) to get help. A career criminal, Danny instead offers him a big score. But when his robbery goes wrong, the desperate brothers hijack an ambulance with an injured police officer and EMT (Eiza González, baby driver) on board. Will and Danny must evade a citywide police response, keep their hostages alive and somehow try not to kill each other, all while executing the craziest escape Los Angeles has ever seen.
Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you Ambulance it is shakespeare. (Michael Bay’s Villagenow there is a billion dollar concept.) But it is funny. The drone shots alone are worth the price of admission, and if you already own Peacock, that makes the price of admission exactly $0.
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