Ambulance (Collector’s Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

What do you think of when you hear the name Michael Bay. Some would say toxic masculinity. Some would say over the top. Some would say style over substance.  There are also some that would say action film icon, auteur of mainstream cinema or underrated genius.  I can put myself somewhere in the middle.  The Rock is one of the finest action films of the 90’s or any decade.  It’s big, loud, implausible and a whole lot of fun.  Armageddon and Pearl Harbor are two of the most overlong, lazily plotted slogs through film that I’ve ever seen.  They’re all from the same director. The same can be said even for franchise work from Bay. Bad Boysand Bad Boys II are two wildly different films to me. One works in a nice tight structure, while the other bloats like me after a big meal.  This is all of course in my humble opinion… but why do I ask these questions and make these claims? For the purpose of this review’s exploration of Ambulance. This is Bayhem on a grand scale, but just so slightly different.  Check out the details below and be sure to snag a copy of Ambulance using the paid Amazon Link!




In this action thriller directed by Michael Bay, veteran Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Candyman), desperate for money, turns to his adoptive brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal, End of Watch) for help. A career criminal, Danny instead offers him a huge score. But when their heist goes awry, the desperate brothers hijack an ambulance with a wounded cop and paramedic (Eiza González, Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw) onboard. Will and Danny must evade a city-wide law enforcement response, keep their hostages alive, and somehow try not to kill each other, all while executing the most insane escape LA has ever seen.

Ambulance abounds in the comforts of the Michael Bay universe. The action starts nearly immediately and keeps on coming for the length of the film.  The synopsis posted above gives you the basics – Robbery, ambulance chase, wounded cops, and a paramedic.  The cool part of the simplicity here is that it leaves room for so much substance within the style.  Each of the main 3 actors is given an opportunity to build upon their small arcs.  There are hints at the pasts of Will and Danny, how they became brothers and how their bond keeps them together even if they’re often at odds (at one point, they’re literally fist fighting while driving…). Cam (Gonzalez) is also given some back story as she calls a former flame for help.

Don’t expect too much though.  While there is a lot going on in Ambulance, there are still a lot of holes to be filled.  Story, as with the great majority of Michael Bay projects, goes out the window for style.  In this case, there is minimal crew, multiple drones, and a lot of interesting set ups for action scenes.  Ambulance in fact does not stop once Danny and Will start to work on their job.  When Cam comes into the picture, things ramp up even further.  The best scenes involve a very strong performance from Eiza Gonzalez, who is all about saving lives in a maximum of 12 minutes. Jake Gyllenhaal delivers some signature intensity and just a tad bit of camp and scenery chewing.  You see him enjoying the role of partial villain and working through those brothers scenes with Yahya Abdul-Mateen. Speaking of Mateen, he continues to show how wonderful he can be as he soldiers through some clunky dialogue, and makes you truly care for his character and the family he is trying to provide for.

So, is Ambulance perfect? Not by a long shot.  There are plot holes, predictable story arcs, and a feature length that could use quite a bit of trimming.  The positives though – Incredible new camera tech, gorgeous and crisp photography, some brilliant Bay-related in-jokes, and a few truly unforgettable (and admittedly implausible) scenes make the film one to watch and rewatch just to go on a wild ride.


  • Encoding: MPEG -4 AVC
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • HDR:HDR10, Dolby Vision
  • Layers:BD-100
  • Details: I can state this simply, and although the sentence would be enough, I won’t leave it at this… This disc is reference. Colorful, crisp, and downright gorgeous. There is no softness, and what an absolute piece of eye candy for a 4K fan.  Everything pops off the screen and is exactly what fans of modern films and the 4K UHD Blu-ray format are always looking for.
  • Depth/Clairity: Sharp, clear, gorgeous and stunning are just a few of the words I’d use to describe this disc. The pleasure of this particular transfer is that the film being shot in a resolution higher than 4K, then downscaling just creates so much depth of field.  I am still not so sure of how much of the film’s effects are practical or CGI, and looking at this, I know that others won’t be able to tell either.
  • Black Levels: Another perfect aspect of the transfer. Blacks are not the foremost on the color palette, but any scene involving shadows or blacks really do go deep and dark.
  • Color Reproduction: Colors are all bright, vibrant and true to life. There aren’t any hot or cool tones that are out of depth, and things really look beautiful.  Blood reds, cool blues, bright yellows. Nothing but the best.
  • Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are also of the natural and gorgeous variety. Detail on the faces of characters is active and wonderful as well.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Pristine.


  • Audio Format(s): English: Dolby Atmos,English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
    Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: This is the Atmos mix that new films hitting the format ought to aspire to be. You hear everything! Channels stay active for the entire runtime, and there is so much to take in. immersion is key! And what a breathtaker this one is!
  • Height: From above, we are treated to helicopters, sirens, road noise, gunshots, and all the other Bayhem! The mix is dynamic and moves throughout the room!
  • Low Frequency Extension: LFE is a big deal here. The bass comes in with the score and keeps on throughout with things blowing up, being shot, vehicles crashing, and so much more.  Truly kinetic energy flows throughout the low end.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Surrounds are equally as active as height and bass channels. The activity is non-stop and is yet another reason why this mix is REFERENCE!
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Just as with the rest of my bullet points in this section, this one is perfect!


Ambulance speeds home onto 4K UHD Blu-ray in a “collector’s edition”, which is Universal’s way of saying 4K is the way! With a slipcover, digital code and bundled Blu-ray, you also get:

  • Bayhem(2160p/Dolby Vision, 6:14): Ever wanted to know what it’s like working with Michael Bay? Well, here ya go!
  • Pedal to the Metal(2160p/Dolby Vision, 9:34): In which we learn about the Falck brand ambulances the film showcases.
  • Aerial Assault(2160p/Dolby Vision, 5:08): Something I was most interested in was the drone work in the film. This feature doesn’t disappoint, breaking things down in a short sweet little doc.
  • Finding Ambulance(2160p/Dolby Vision, 5:34): Ambulance is based off of a 2005 Danish film. This gives a backstory on that and some more about the 2022 version as well.
  • Chase Capital of the World(2160p/Dolby Vision, 3:58): LA as Chase capital.  Said and done!
  • A Tribute to First Responders(2160p/Dolby Vision, 6:54): The first responders are the title and tribute, but this is really about Eiza Gonzalez and trying to be a convincing EMT. Interesting but it needs a title change.


In the end, Ambulance of course fails to make up the sum of its parts.  At the same time, it’s also a lot of fun, and a step up from a typical B-movie, which I think may be the point.  Think of the idea of this one being an A-minus movie.  I enjoyed it, despite my criticisms, and I was absolutely blown away by the 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation.  Worth a pick up for fans of popcorn flicks and definitely worth it if you want to demo your system, upset a downstairs neighbor, or hear an extremely active Atmos mix.

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