Smart Movie Review: ‘AmbuLAnce’ brings chaotic precision to the big screen

Published 4:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2022

By Ian Omar Smart | Guest Columnist

Now playing at the B&B Theater, Michael Bay returns with “AmbuLAnce,” an entertaining new movie, bolstered by three fantastic performances, that overcomes an absurd story with hyper-cranked, gun-toting action.

This story involves Will (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) seeking financial support for his wife’s surgery. He taps his adopted brother Danny (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), who offers him a part in a heist planned for that afternoon. Their robbery goes south, and they wind up commandeering an Ambulance containing a wounded cop and an EMT named Cam, played by Eiza Gonzalez, in order to outrun the cops long enough to figure out an escape.

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In this age of digital backdrops and flat compositions, the tactility found in this movie acts as a delightful oddity in the landscape of modern blockbuster filmmaking. Live rounds are fired from automatic rifles, real cars are tossed or blown up and drone cameras zoom down the length of skyscrapers.

Gyllenhaal’s wondrously unhinged performance is counter-balanced by the warmth from Mateen and Gonzalez. These performers match Bay’s chaotic precision, which combines the energy of a YouTube vlog with the technical precision of someone who’s made a career of crafting dynamic low-brow action movies. That combination may sound diametrically opposed, but Bay’s broad sense of humor gives the audience permission to laugh with the nonsense instead of at it.

If you can overlook the absurd tone, this is a great movie to see on the big screen.

Ian Omar Smart is a graduate of Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University with a degree in architecture. When he’s not drawing buildings, he’s probably at the movies. Smart can be contacted at