An endless sprawl of a film set in the endless sprawl of LA, Michael Bay’s Ambulance is well over two hours long, and most of the running time is taken up by “a very expensive car chase”, as one supporting character points out, while cop cars perform slow-mo somersaults from the freeway. A tale of two estranged brothers, Danny (a vein-popping Jake Gyllenhaal, giving arguably the most Michael Bay performance in the history of Michael Bay films) and Will (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), and a heist gone wrong, Ambulance is based on a 2005 Danish picture of the same name. The original clocked in at a lean 76 minutes, but in the hands of Bay, a long-term advocate of the maxim “more is more”, the story is pumped up, steroidal and unwieldy. It’s a pity, because at the core of the film, partially concealed by Bay’s posturing and swagger, is a bracing, slickly executed B-movie – Danny and Will hijack an ambulance: inside is a critically injured cop and a ballsy paramedic (Eiza González); outside are guns, explosives and a lot of very angry law enforcement officers.
Wendy Ide is the Observer's chief film critic