Ambulance Movie Review : Michael Bay’s Most Successful Film

With Ambulance, filmmaker Michael Bay has created a film that is propelled by the twitchy force of will and joyful confidence that comes from doing cocaine. There was a lot of cocaine. If you told me that people on set dipped their hands into piles of cocaine before every swoon-inducing shot setup or dramatic line reading from co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, I would wholeheartedly believe you.

Ambulance Review

The kind of craziness that I can get behind. In my opinion, it deserves far more praise than it received during its opening weekend at the box office because it brings to the forefront the pleasure principle that far too many filmmakers in Hollywood have abandoned in favour of self-aware quips and broadly connected universes — though I do appreciate the Ambulance characters who quote and reference previous Bay powerhouses Bad Boys and The Rock, implying that Bay exists in the universe of his own film, which is a nice touch.

Since Pain & Gain, Ambulance has Become Michael Bay's Most Successful Film

Despite the fact that the two films are vastly different in tone, Ambulance is unquestionably Bay's best film since Pain and Gain. The later Transformers films were a little too silly for their own good, and they suffered as a result of the absence of Shia LaBoeuf's central performance to anchor them. Meanwhile, 13 Hours demonstrated that a pre-Tom Clancy John Krasinski was not ready to star in an earnest, self-important war drama. Ambulance succeeds even more brilliantly in bringing Bay's desire for destruction to a more intimate and small-scale drama, which is something that Pain & Gain failed to do.

When the situation is straightforward, like in “Emergency Vehicle,” two desperate brothers steal a bank and commandeer the namesake ambulance as their getaway vehicle, holding a nurse as hostage in the process, Bay can play to his strengths. During the course of Ambulance's action, ambulances are employed as battering rams, murder weapons, and, at one point, as a massive bomb, yet the story's condensed timeframe and its broad, archetypical cast ensure that the film's crazy action never feels meaningless or forced.

Ambulance's Box Office Earnings: How Much Money Has Michael Bay's Film Made?

While Ambulance was not an especially expensive action film, it was also not particularly inexpensive. The budget for Pain & Gain was a meagre $22 million (for a frame of reference, the teen horror sequel Scream 2022 cost the same).

Ambulance Review

On the other hand, Ambulance cost roughly $40 million, which is a fraction of the budget of a Transformers film, but still more than double the expense of a small-scale indie production like Ambulance. According to a Variety article published before the film's release, Bay was drawn to the idea because he wanted a smaller project to work on. The article also stated that the film's modest budget would help to cushion the blow of any potential box office underperformance.

However, it's possible that the trade journal did not foresee just how far Ambulance would fall short of Bay's usual box office performance.

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Why is Ambulance's Box Office Performance so Poor?

Ambulance made $9 million in its first weekend of release, placing it in fifth place at the box office. Some outlets, such as Deadline Hollywood, attributed the film's failure to older male moviegoers wishing for a throwback to the era of mid-budget Shane Black action films like as Lethal Weapon to the fact that Ambulance was promoted exclusively to them. Apparently, older moviegoers are less inclined to return to the theatre, which is a difficult claim to ignore, especially given half of Ambulance's opening weekend ticket sales came from patrons over the age of 35.

However, this does not represent the entire picture. There's also the issue of Ambulance's R-rating, which prevents younger audiences from seeing the action film, as well as the fact that the film's cast is primarily comprised of older actors who have previously appeared in family-unfriendly films such as Candyman, Baby Driver, Watchmen, and The Guilty.

While Jake Gyllenhall appeared in one Marvel Cinematic Universe film, it was not in the title role, and he is better known for his work on darker projects such as Zodiac, Prisoners, Nightcrawler, and the Ryan Reynolds horror film Life. Speaking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fact that more and more superhero films are filling theatres may also be a contributing factor to Ambulance's underperformance, as the MCU and DC's offerings have come to comprise a greater proportion of Hollywood's action genre production.

If you ignore the fact that there are still non-superhero action movies released, the vast majority of big-budget blockbuster megahits are entries into the superhero sub-genre, and Bay's track record as a hitmaker in this field suggests that his time as a director may be coming to an end, barring him from joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a member of the team.

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Observations From Users

remake of a Danish comedy with the intention of making an action film where the only thing that is wonderful about it is that it has a great cast of actors

Ambulance Review

The filmmaker continues his heinous practise of not allowing the film to breathe without allowing for any breaks. The camera is completely insane, wobbling all over the place and beginning to cause severe dizziness.

Read More: Thor Ragnarok Review, What Made This Average Movie a Blockbuster

Mariam Cary
Mariam Cary
Mariam Cary writes stories about the past and romances set in the past. She has also been writing for a long time about the lives and wealth of famous people and shows. She travels a lot and goes to many different places.

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