Movie Review: Ambulance (2022)

Synopsis: Desperate for money to pay for his wife's surgery, Marine veteran Will Sharp goes to his adoptive brother, Danny, a career criminal, for help and reluctantly agrees to participate in a bank robbery. When the heist goes awry and Will shoots a police officer, the pair hijack an ambulance with the wounded officer and a paramedic, Cam, inside. They then attempt to elude the Los Angeles Police Department while doing everything they can to keep the officer alive so they can avoid a murder charge too.

Who's in it? The movie stars Jake GyllenhaalYahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza GonzálezGarret Dillahunt and Cedric Sanders.

Review: I've had this movie saved to my library for a few weeks and my wife and I finally had a chance to sit down and watch it yesterday evening. Overall, I thought it was a good choice.

There are a couple things I found I really liked about this film. One of the main ones is just how desperate brothers' situation is. They aren't given any sort of break from the time they fool the police and are able to escape the parking garage and are forced to avoid everything from police helicopters to snipers while trying to keep the police officer in the back (Jackson White) from dying.

Adding to this is it was very difficult to figure out how the movie would end. Will (Abdul-Mateen) is a decent guy who got caught up in a bad situation and it was easy to want him to get away, especially with a sick wife and a baby. However, he did also shoot a police officer and, as the driver, he had plenty of opportunities to pull to the side of the road and give himself up. That did make it a little harder to root for him by the end.

On top of it, his brother (Gyllenhaal) was a bit of a wildcard. I wanted to believe he cared about his brother but there was a big part of me that wondered if he would end up betraying Will at some point, especially when he called in reinforcements from a group that wasn't afraid to kill the police on his behalf.

The movie also had some great supporting characters. Cam (González) was pretty bad ass and I loved how she wasn't afraid to speak her mind and continued to do her job even with her life in danger. I also wondered what would happen when the partner of the wounded officer (Sanders) had an opportunity to get revenge. Even without the action scenes, I think they would have made the movie worth watching.

My biggest complaint about the film is there are a lot of scenes that are needlessly dragged out for artistic effect. My wife and I both agreed this movie could have easily been 30-40 minutes shorter than it was without having any impact on the plot.

Also, while the brothers went out of their way to keep one officer alive, it wasn't as though they were doing their best to avoid causing harm to others. There were an awful lot of car crashes plus Danny's accomplices both blew up and shot officers. I kind of feel like the movie maybe glossed over that part of the film.

I also feel like the movie should have done a little better job with the concept of time. By this, I mean it was kind of hard to tell just how long the chase lasted. Was it an all-day thing or did it just last a couple hours. The former seems unlikely because, last I checked, ambulances don't get that great of gas mileage. The latter, however, also creates complications because of the time it would have taken to set up Danny's big escape plan. The film should have taken the time to put things in a better context.

Final Opinion: There are some flaws with the execution that both made the movie drag at times and made the semi-happy ending a little less likely if you overthink some of the movie's events. However, it was definitely entertaining, and I'd recommend it based solely on that.

My Grade: B


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