Skip to content

a hectic action film with a pachydermic realization (on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD)

Artistic note: Red StarRed StarRed Stargray stargray star(3/5)


Will Sharp, a decorated veteran, enlists the only untrustworthy person, his foster brother Danny, to find the money to cover his wife’s medical bills. The latter, a charismatic long-term criminal, instead of giving him money, offers him a shot: the biggest bank robbery in the history of Los Angeles… 32 million dollars.

• Original title: Ambulance
• Media tested: Blu-ray
• Genre: action
• Year: 2022
• Director: Michael Bay
• Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González, Garret Dillahunt, Keir O’Donnell, Jackson White, Olivia Stambouliah, Moses Ingram
• Duration: 2 h 16 min 20
• Video format: 16:9
• Cinema format: 2.39/1
• Subtitles: French, English, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Swedish, Latvian
• Soundtracks: Dolby Atmos TrueHD 7.1 English, German – Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 French, Italian
• Bonus: Chaos according to Michael Bay (6 min 14) – Foot to the floor (9 min 34) – Air offensive (5 min 08) – Making of (5 min 34) – The capital of chases (3 min 58) – Tribute to the rescuers (6 mn 54)
• Publisher: Universal Pictures France

Art commentary

Ambulance, Michael Bay’s new opus is totally in keeping with the director’s style, viscerally Hollywood: spectacular as rarely seen, but clumsy at all levels from the script to the images, from the sound to the music. The plot concocted by Chris Fedak is just implausible, punctuated by totally unrealistic action sequences whose sole objective remains breathtaking entertainment without worrying about dramatic coherence. To overcome this ambulance with hostages, was it necessary to mobilize many members of various police institutions, dozens of helicopters and to destroy as many vehicles (while the ambulance seems indestructible)? Planned from 2015, Ambulanceremake of a Danish film by Laurits Munch-Petersen (2005), is not a thriller with fascinating human issues in the line of Speed (1994, which Michael Bay would have liked to direct) but a simple catalog of stunts of all kinds, closer to the world of comics than to serious thrillers. If the image is still highly impressive, Michael Bay’s camera does not stay in place and confuses virtuosity and repetitive tics: having discovered the benefits of the drone (see bonus), the film uses and abuses dizzying gratuitous dives, often in conflict with the action. The incessant movement of the shot ends up making you dizzy and proves the total confusion established between the dynamics of the action and that of the photograph by Roberto De Angelis, which would have been better suited to a video game rather than a long footage. Obviously the Atmos mix, with generous bass, is in tune and will undoubtedly delight the happy owners of well-equipped Home Cinemas. To tell the story of this hostage-taking which triggers the delirious chase of an ambulance, the director was able to count on a trio of motivated actors, Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, familiar with action films, and the supermodel Eiza González as a charming emergency physician. These performers know how to both bring their characters to life with in-depth psychology and struggle in the heart of the maelstrom of action orchestrated by the director who here seems to be having a lot of fun quoting himself (bad boys1995, Rock, 1996) and to bring together in a single film most of his previous cult scenes. Nothing stops him, like, by chance, this sequence of a successful operation on the spleen with his bare hands and by videoconference in a chaotic vehicle: the rest of the film is the endorsement and will involve a great availability to accept the enormity of the situations. Ambulance is indeed a film stamped Michael Bay of which one cannot dispute the innate direction of the cinematographic hypertrophy. Distracting or caricatural? Up to you…

Ambulance Blu-ray

Technical Comment

Image : HD copy, excellent definition and constant sharpness but often too digital aspect (shooting with Red Komodo 6K Bayhem, Red Weapon Helium 8K Bayhem, Master Format 4K cameras), solid contrast, ultra-bright image and sustained blacks, naturalistic calibrations, warm colorimetry with nuanced hues, saturated tones

His : English mix Dolby Atmos, very clear centered dialogues, breathtaking dynamics on all the action scenes (car crashes, firefights) and on Lorne Balfe’s clumsy music constantly supported by a hypertrophied LFE channel, all-out spatialization that seeks only to immerse the spectator in a raging sound ocean, height channels very used (helicopter) and effective; VF 7.1 (no Atmos on the VF although the German version has it!), clear and dynamic, neat dubbing, and if the height channels are lacking, the spatialization remains ample

Our opinion

Image : Red StarRed StarRed StarRed Stargray star(4/5)
Sound mixes: blue Starblue Starblue Starblue Starblue Star(5/5)
Bonuses: Red StarRed Stargray stargray stargray star(2/5)
Packaging: blue Starblue Starhalf blue stargray stargray star(2.5/5)

IMDb :

Blu-rays and DVDs available on Amazon

Other articles that may interest you on ON-mag and the rest of the web


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.