michael bay is, above any kind of personal preference, one of the most important action directors of recent decades. However, it is also fair to point out that the popularity of his films is no longer the same as before, hence a film as enjoyable as ‘Ambulance. Escape plan’ has gone somewhat unnoticed during its premiere in the United States.
It’s a shame that ‘Ambulance. Escape plan’ seems doomed to go somewhat unnoticed during its time on the big screen, since it is about Bay’s best movie since ‘The Rock’ and also a proposal that shows that Hollywood action movies can still give us a few joys.
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Curiously, ‘Ambulance. Escape plan ‘surely would never have existed if it weren’t for the coronavirus pandemic. That caused Bay to have to cancel another project that he had underway, but he was already in the mood to shoot something, which is why he agreed to take up a project that he had rejected years before: the remake of a 2005 Danish film, which was lent to a short, fast and not particularly expensive shoot.
Bay finally had $40 million to pull off a movie that looks like it cost twice as much or more. Completely ignoring the original film – the author of ‘Armageddon’ refused to see it or even read his script – ‘Ambulance. Escape Plan’ is a great popcorn show in which vibrancy is of paramount importance at all levels. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean ignoring their characters.
‘Ambulance. Escape plan’ is a movie in constant motionAnd I’m not saying this thinking only of the characteristic montage of Bay’s cinema with constant changes of shot. Here there is no time to spend too much time on anything, which is why everything moves very quickly until the action shifts to focus inside an ambulance.
That’s clearly what Bay is most interested in, and she has plenty of opportunities to have fun posing and executing a multitude of action scenes in which demonstrates his great handling of the staging. Even he himself has recognized that he improvised several situations on the fly, something that fits perfectly with the need of the two protagonists to think on the fly how to avoid being caught by the police.
That leads Bay to opt for a much more direct approachsomething already present in that first act but that remains practically until the appearance of the final credits. And it is that here the protagonists are the threat that alters normality instead of being the ones who have to solve an uncontrolled danger, so you simply have to go more and more, and do it in a way that catches our attention.
To do this, Bay has no problem using the comedy at various times, even going so far as to dedicate winks to two of his most remembered films. Of course, it does not fall into the use of that humor that was so bad for its sequels to the ‘Transformers’ saga, but it doses it better, it adjusts to the times – there is a certain character who would have been the subject of questionable jokes not so long ago- and also finds a luxury ally in Jake Gyllenhaal.
And it is that another strength of the film is its characters, although with that you do not expect a construction of the same equivalent to what one could find in a good drama -if it is easy to dismantle the bond that one to the two protagonists little by little let one reflect on it. Here the contrast is played, with a great Gyllenhaal embracing the excesses and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II appearing much more serene, while Eiza Gonzalez It provides a necessary third way both to maintain its fast-paced atmosphere and to prevent things from ever becoming unbalanced in one direction or another.
All this allows Bay to have the ideal playing field to unleash all his technical arsenal, with the great addition of amazing use of drones to highlight its most spectacular facet to the maximum. There is literally more than one scene in which the first thought that crosses your mind is how the hell did he manage to make what we see on screen a reality.
In addition, the film is aware at all times that, deep down, it is still ghostly, so it does not give more presence than necessary to its most dramatic vein and focuses on being a constant flight forward, whether at 200 kilometers per hour or just 30Curiously, this last one is one of the most tense scenes of the entire function.
What sets ‘Ambulance. Escape plan’ from Bay’s other action displays after ‘The Rock’ is that here it is a constant throughout the entire footage. It is true that it lasts more than two hours and that could have been contained -the Danish original barely reaches 75 minutes-, but that is something that ends up giving us the same due to the enviable rhythm that it boasts. Things do not stop happening, building each step on what we have seen so far, thus giving more strength to the continuous escalation in the action scenes, where everything is getting more and more, both in what happens, where the usual desire for the destruction of Bay is increasingly palpableas in how to put it in pictures.
‘Ambulance. Getaway Plan’ is pure adrenaline and a brilliant exercise in style by Bay, who mines gold from his limited means to shape an action film that puts bigger budget productions to shame. Hopefully fewer superhero adventures and more enjoyable action like the one at hand.