Michael Bay’s ‘Ambulance’ ignited in the midst of pandemic
The worldwide pandemic derailed and delayed film releases and productions across the industry, but for filmmaker Michael Bay, it ignited one. In the fall of 2020, Bay, the visionary director of some of the biggest studio hits of all time including the “Transformers” franchise, “Armageddon”,” Bad Boys” and “Bad Boys II”, “Pearl Harbor” and “The Rock”, was on the hunt for a project that would allow his crew to do a tight shoot in Los Angeles during COVID-19 lockdown protocols.
The action in “Ambulance” takes place over one day, with the most nerve-wracking two-plus hours audiences could spend in a movie theater— with the bank robbers (Danny played Jake Gyllenhaal and Will, played by Abdul Yahya-Mateen II) and a paramedic trying to keep a cop in hostage alive, going from one critical situation to another with interwoven narratives.
With Bay on board, the project rocketed forward at breakneck speed. In “Ambulance”, L.A. County paramedic Camille “Cam” Thompson is much better with unconscious patients than she is with any friends who want to have a more personal conversation. With a brilliant mind for medicine, Cam wanted to be a doctor, but she fell out of medical school due to drug abuse.
Now, she finds herself as someone who only feels normal in the midst of a crisis. A quick-thinking problem solver, Cam can keep anybody alive for 20 minutes. Cam is played by Eiza González, who made her mark in such blockbusters as “Baby Driver”, and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.”
On an ordinary day, Cam encounters brothers Will and Danny when they took on the ambulance she’s riding desperate to escape when the bank heist was exposed to the authorities. Because the siblings are trapped with her and a critically injured officer for much of the story, they are forced to confront who they are at their best… and their worst.
“Each one of these characters finds themselves in the ambulance with something to learn and something they have struggled with,” Gyllenhaal says. “This journey throughout the day brings all their secrets out.”
To prepare for the role, González worked closely with RN and paramedic consultant Dannie Wurtz, who not only trained her on the precision and detail of attending to a critical patient in a moving ambulance, but inspired the actress with her passion and commitment.
“It was so cool to see a woman that has made her way through this wild business and saved so many lives,” González says. “She has kept that spark going and that love for what she does. That brought a lot to Cam and really helped me to shape her as a character.”
The shoot was unlike any González had experienced before. “You’re covered in dirt, sweat and blood, and it feels so real,” González says. “It’s hard to think of acting and lines while your body’s going a thousand miles per hour. It was raining, air was blasting in our faces and we were scared. It became difficult to think of intentions for the scene, but that is why this was the best experience for me. I hope that people enjoy it because we have put our heart, blood, sweat and tears into this. Everyone was on their A-game – from our crew and stunt team to the cast. It was a lot of dedication and love.”
A Universal Pictures International release, “Ambulance” is now showing in Philippine cinemas nationwide.