Richard joins the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush for Booze and Reviews! Today we talk about “Ambulance,” the video game flick “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Johnny Depp in “Minamata.” Then we take a sip of the Japanese favourite cocktail the Ginza Mary,.
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host David Cooper on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the frenetic Beyhem (look it up) of “Ambulance,” the video game flick “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Johnny Depp in “Minamata.”
“Transformer” director Michael Bay’s movies are so distinctive the internet has coined a new term to describe his pedal-to-the-metal action style: Bayhem. His latest, the chase flick “Ambulance” starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jake Gyllenhaal, and now playing in theatres, falls in line. It keeps the foot on the gas in true Bayhem fashion.
Decorated veteran Will (Abdul-Mateen II) is desperate for money. His wife needs surgery but the coffers are dry. To raise the cash, he reluctantly asks his adoptive brother and career criminal Danny (Gyllenhaal) if he can help.
Turns out Danny can help, if Will is willing to bend the rules to get the money.
A lot of money.
Danny is planning a bank heist with an estimated bounty of $32 million. “I need an extra man,” Danny says. Will isn’t sure, but Danny is persuasive. “Have I ever gotten you in anything that I couldn’t get you out of?”
The bank heist goes off without a hitch, but the getaway is rough. With things falling apart, they hijack an ambulance. Trouble is, the ambulance is transporting a wounded policeman (Jackson White) and a paramedic (Eiza González). With police in hot pursuit, they take the ambulance on a high-speed chase through the streets of Los Angeles. “We’re not the bad guys,” Danny says. “We’re just trying to get home.”
The stakes are life and death. Cue the Bayhem.
“Ambulance” isn’t a heist movie. Bay milks excitement out of the setup and execution of the sequence but this is a getaway flick with an interesting family dynamic between Danny and Will.
Gyllenhaal’s performance as the charismatic sociopath older brother is as amped up as the movie itself. Which is to say it’s pedal to the metal all the way.
Bay’s relentless camera is in constant motion. It zooms, caresses the actor’s faces in extreme closeups, flies up and down the sides of buildings, and, of course cruises alongside the ambulance as it careens through the streets of Los Angeles. The camerawork and the editing are so fast it’s as though Bay has his finger on the fast forward button the entire time.
If you get motion sickness you might want to take some Gravol along with your popcorn.
If “Ambulance” was music, it would be a Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solo. Fast and heavy, it bowls you over with technical skill but doesn’t engage much more than that. There’s no sense of pacing, it’s all forward momentum. As Danny and Will say several times, “We’re a locomotive. We don’t stop,” but occasionally tapping the brake might give the viewers and the actors a chance to catch out collective breath.
“Ambulance” is raw, unadulterated Bayhem. From the frenetic editing to the characters, who all speak like they are in a Michael Bay action movie, and the anxiety inducing soundtrack, it is frantic Bayhem with all the good and bad that implies.