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Film / Ambulance

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"I'm sorry, brother. Sorry I brought you into this."
Danny Sharp

Ambulance is a 2022 American Action Thriller film directed and co-produced by Michael Bay and written by Chris Fedak, based on the 2005 Danish film Ambulancen by Laurits Munch-Petersen and Lars Andreas Pedersen. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Eiza González, with Garret Dillahunt, A Martinez, and Moses Ingram also appearing.

William Sharp, a decorated Marine, faces financial hurdles as he searches both for work and more importantly the money needed to help his ailing wife's cancer. In desperation, he turns to his adopted brother Danny, a career bank robber like his father who just happens to have a heist in place that will more than cover Will's expenses. Naturally, despite a carefully executed plan, things go Off the Rails in a big way.

Unexpected interference leads to a mass shoot-out which leaves most of the crew sans the brothers dead and a police officer being critically wounded. In desperate need of escape, they hijack the ambulance carrying that same officer and one of the paramedics. What starts as the biggest heist the brothers ever pulled becomes a massive police chase through the streets of L.A. as Will and Danny try to escape with both their score and their lives...

It was released in theatres in the United States on April 8, 2022, by Universal Pictures.

Previews: Official Trailer, Official Trailer 2.

Ambulance contains examples of:

  • AB Negative: Will is O negative, making him an universal donor. This allows him to transfuse some of his blood to Officer Zach.
  • Actor Allusion: Ex-convict-turned-actor Victor Gojcaj appears in a minor role, a Shout-Out to Tony Scott (a clear influence on Ambulance), whose films The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and Unstoppable Gojcaj appeared in.
  • Adoption Diss: Papi calls Will Danny's "fake brother". Will doesn't even react to the insult. Danny doesn't either... initially. While he doesn't kill Papi for that remark, it is the source of his Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
    Danny: "He's not my fake brother. He's my REAL brother."
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Danny. Even though he had to be put down by Will, he was still his brother.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Anson is flabbergasted when his therapist asks him if people still rob banks.
    Anson: Kyle, do we have to pay for the dumb questions, or are these ones free of charge?
  • Attack Drone: In a variation, Papi's ambush involves tossing a low-rider with a remote-controlled minigun at the police.
  • Ax-Crazy: Danny Sharp becomes this towards the end of the film when after the stress of the police chase, having to kill Papi and his crew, and having to get his brother to the hospital ensuring he'll be arrested after everything. Then he finds out that it was Cam, who Will risked his life to save, was the one who shot him by accident causing to just completely snap and possibly suicidal by the way he intended to kill Cam which would cause the police to kill him.
  • Badass Driver:
  • Bittersweet Ending: Danny is dead, and Will is very likely going to spend the foreseeable future in maximum security prison. But Zach lives, Will gets his wife the money she needs and then some, and Cam has a renewed passion for her job. And may very well give med school another shot.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Randazzo goes out this way during the initial heist; doubles as a Shout-Out to Heat, where the getaway driver dies in the same fashion.
  • Cain and Abel: Danny and Will Sharp, respectively. The roles are reversed in the end when Will kills Danny to protect Cam.
  • Chase Scene: Most of the movie has the brothers in the titular ambulance pursued across LA by the police.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Officer Mark's handgun, which ends up in the ambulance undiscovered under his partner's body for over an hour of runtime before Cam shoots Will with it by accident.
  • Consummate Professional: Cam is an extremely good paramedic; commanding and empathetic in the moment to help the victim but equally refuses to follow up once they are taken to the hospital. She views her job as making sure they get to the ER alive and in the best condition possible, but beyond that is not her concern (while seemingly callous, it's sometimes a necessity to keep your emotional sanity doing such a job). The hostage situation she finds herself in requires her to spend more than 20 minutes with a patient.
  • Cop Killer: Danny is (rightfully) worried about accidentally killing cops. His gangster associates are not. When their pursuers at one point (mistakenly) believe the officer in the back of their ambulance is dead, and then again after the attack that kills Monroe, it escalates very quickly into the...
  • Cop Killer Manhunt:
    • The chase is so hot because there's an injured cop in the back of the ambulance, but on the flip side, it also doesn't escalate as long as the other cops think one of their own is still alive in there.
    • At the end of the chase, the other cops almost refuse to let Will get medical treatment despite being RIGHT IN FRONT OF A HOSPITAL. That's how seriously they take the dead and injured cops over the course of the movie.
  • The Ditz: Trent, who doesn't seem to understand how bad of an idea it was to wear Birkenstocks to Danny's heist. Later he appears not to understand the concept of having been run over, although at that point it's probably shock.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: When Captain Munroe eats a snack with his finger, Dhazghig tells him not to touch her stuff.
    Dhazghig: Don't lick your finger and touch my shit.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Papi is a ruthless gangster, but he genuinely loves his son Roberto and is devastated by his death.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Downplayed in a sense. During the heist, Randazzo runs over Trent in a panic, much to the horror of “Mel Gibson”, who protests this by stating he (Trent) was at his (Randazzo’s) wedding.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire movie is about a day from sunrise to sunset.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": Dramatic example with Will's insurance company, illustrating why he's willing to be dragged along on Danny's heist despite trying to distance himself from his family's criminal activities.
  • Freudian Trio: One on each end of the chase: Danny and Captain Monroe as the Id, Cam and Lieutenant Dhazghig as the Superego, and Will and Anson as the Ego.
  • Friendly Enemy: FBI agent Anson Clark, who was a college friend of Danny Sharp. There doesn't seem to be any personal animosity between them, their conversations are perfectly amicable, but there is no indication that either one would treat the other any differently than just another fed or another criminal.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Will was a Marine. Ironically, he became a soldier in the first place to escape the criminal activities of his father and brother.
  • Gun Struggle: When Officer Mark jumps on him, Roberto pulls out a gun. After a brief struggle, Roberto gets his head blown off.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The fate of Trent during the initial heist.
  • Happily Adopted: There is no questioning that the Sharp brothers consider themselves such no matter how much the situation is fraying their nerves (especially Danny's). Danny even takes very personal Papi's Adoption Diss of Will, making his rebuke of "[Will is] my real brother!" his Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
  • Healthcare Motivation: Will needs $231,000 to pay for his wife's experimental surgery, which their insurance is refusing to pay for, ultimately causing him to accept the offer to take part in Danny's bank heist.
  • Hero Antagonist: The police are lawful authority figures trying to stop the protagonists from robbing a bank and save their hostages.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Captain Monroe certainly does, so much so that he calls off a chase when he realizes that his dog might be in danger.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • How the other criminals see Will's insistence on not killing the hostages once they reach safety.
    • Danny has no problem with killing the hostages, but when his brother takes a stand against an entire gang, he doesn't hesitate to take his brother's side.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Cam attended med school but acquired a problem with pills halfway through. That makes her unusually qualified as a paramedic, but she's angry at herself for screwing up.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: During the climax, Cam accidentally shoots Will when he comes back to the ambulance, mistaking him for one of Papi's Mooks.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: During her first scene, Cam has to take care of a little girl who has been in a car accident and was impaled by a fence's iron bar.
  • Impostor Forgot One Detail: When Officer Zach comes to the bank during the heist, Danny tries to pose as the bank manager. However, Zach realizes that Danny is not who he says he is when he gives the wrong last name for one of the bank employees.
  • Inter-Service Rivalry: Unsurprisingly, LAPD Captain Monroe isn't happy when FBI Agent Anson Clark gets involved in his case, and the two get into an argument as soon as they meet.
  • It's Personal: At first, Papi only helps the Sharp brothers because they promised him money. However, after his son Roberto is killed by a cop, he declares that it has become personal.
    Papi: You're right, Danny. You're right. It's not business. It is personal. My son died for this money.
  • Justified Criminal: Will Sharp. Again, he needs a LOT of money to help his ailing wife.
  • Lack of Empathy: During the heist, Randazzo runs over Trent in a panic, but is seemingly apathetic and orders a protesting “Mel Gibson” to get his money bag while shooting back at the police. While seemingly justified by the heist going awry affecting his judgment, this ultimately earns him a Boom, Headshot!.
  • Magical Defibrillator: When Officer Zach's heart is about to fail, Cam asks Danny for help to restart it with a defibrillator. Although Danny has never done this before, they manage to save him.
  • Morality Pet: Will is one for his brother Danny. It doesn't save Danny.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The first trailer makes it seem like Cam says “You think you’re so tough with that gun” to Danny. In the final film, she ends up saying to a mook at Papi’s hideout.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Papi's son Roberto gets killed by a cop in the film's last act, leaving his father heartbroken. That said, Papi himself dies not too long after him.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Before hijacking the ambulance, Danny knocks out Scott by hitting him on the head with the butt of his gun.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Played with. The police are the main antagonistic force against the Sharp brothers, keeping them running at every turn, and the cops ultimately succeed in taking the brothers down, but at the same time, Captain Monroe has the brothers almost cornered in the Convention Center parking garage, but calls off the chase just because his dog Nitro is in the car hijacked by Officer Mark.
    • Also, the Sharp brothers' heist probably would have gone on bloodless if Officer Zach had not stopped by while on the clock to ask a bank teller on a date.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: When Dhazghig compares Will's driving skills to those of Lewis Hamilton, Captain Munroe has no idea who she's talking about and asks if he's a basketball player or something.
  • Rescue Equipment Attack:
    • At one point, Cam grabs a fire extinguisher and uses it to spray Danny and Will before she tries to run away from the ambulance.
    • Towards the end, Cam uses a defibrillator to shock Danny when he threatens her with a gun.
  • Ringer Ploy: The extra ambulances.
  • Sacrificial Lion:
    • Every member of Danny's crew besides Danny and Will.
    • Captain Monroe, eventually.
  • Shoot the Dog: Danny deliberately presents himself to the police to be the bad guy of the whole situation and forces Will to shoot him in the back to protect Cam; Danny even gets to Go Out with a Smile. Will is angry at having to kill his brother, but this and Cam's testimony implies criminal charges will be lighter on him than they otherwise would be.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The main plot serves as an homage to Michael Mann's Heat, with the character of Danny in particular taking Neil McCauley's neurotic tendencies from that film up to eleven. In addition, some of the score, from Lorne Balfe, seems to reference the tension-building beats of Brian Eno's score for Heat, particularly for the bank robbery.
    • The aesthetic owes a debt to the later films of Tony Scott; see Actor Allusion.
    • Many to Bay's own work. Officers Zach and Mark discuss The Rock and Bad Boys (1995) in particular.
  • Spanner in the Works: The entire robbery could have gone off without a hitch...if only a cop hadn't decided to pick that moment to take his partner's advice to ask a teller out and their getaway truck hadn't broken down in front of the cop's partner outside.
  • Straight Gay: Anson Clark.
  • Tap on the Head: Since he didn't get any anesthetic, Officer Zach wakes up while Cam and Will are operating on him, so Will has to punch him in the face to knock him out. It's surprisingly effective.
  • That Wasn't a Request: Danny says this when he orders Scott at gunpoint to get out of the ambulance.
    Danny: That wasn't a question. Get out!
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: The premise of the movie. A hijacked ambulance running from a fleet of LAPD squad cars and helicopters.
  • Uncovering Relationship Status: Cam allows her EMT partner Scott to ask her one question a day,. Naturally, his first question is whether she has a boyfriend or not, which doesn't surprises her in the least.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Danny has a prolonged one that starts midway through the film. As the stress of the situation gets to him, he gets more and more unstable, finally culminating in trying to force Cam into Suicide by Cop.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Anson and Danny. Anson even says this line word-for-word when he explains their relationship to Captain Munroe.
  • White Sheep: Will was initially primed to join Danny and their father in continuing the family criminal business, but he joined the marines to get away from that. He is on good terms with Danny, but his wife doesn't want him anywhere near that life again.
  • Your Other Left: When Danny has to help Cam take care of Officer Zach, he gets confused when she instructs him to place the defib pads on Zach's chest.
    Cam: So, the right chest, left rib. Right there and there.
    Danny: My right or your right?
    Cam: His right, you fucking moron!