When I opened the package from Universal Studios Home Entertainment the Bayhem exploded out of the manilla bubbler and filled my room with a sense of “HERE WE GO!”. There is something about a Michael Bay movie that very few other directors can do, and that’s build excitement with just knowing the level of action we’re going to see on screen.
With Ambulance, Michael Bay dared to do things no one else had done by enlisting a drone pilot to add to his exciting directorial style. Add Jake Gyllenhaal, one of today’s best actors IMO, Yahya Abul Mateen II, who’s growing on me with each movie he’s in, and Eiza Gonzales’ on-screen charisma and you’ve got a great mix for a fun action ride through the streets of LA.
The movie doesn’t take long to get into the action and you’re on a fast-paced thrill ride with some unpredictable moments that make it a thrilling watch. My wife started watching with me with plans to leave soon after I pressed play. With 30-minutes left in the movie, she said “I wanted to leave but this is so exciting.”
Bayhem wins again. The director’s use of Bayhem lens created for Red cameras makes this movie LOOK stunning in 4K. There is little to complain about here as you make out individual dirt specs on Eiza’s face or beadlets of sweat on Yahya’s face, or the one hair missed in Jake’s beard trimming.
The detail here might very well be the best I’ve seen. The colours and contrast are perfect with the occasional stylized white bloom via shots through the windshield.
Dolby Vision was my visual flavour of choice and it was a good one. This is a top-tier release and will become a demo disc to show off displays for many.
This movie is WHY Dolby Atmos was created. The mix in Ambulance is an absolute treat for the ears. With a dynamic mix moving the Atmos objects through all the channels the heights are very active. Not that this has ever happened, but it felt like you were in the middle of the shootout with bullets ringing through the air and impacting the walls behind, or in front of you.
The typical aggressive Michael Bay score really envelopes you, dialog is always clear, but the LFE… OH MY WORD!!!! This will kick, pun intended, the ABSOLUTE snot out of your sub(s). The whole movie is a low-frequency treat…from the score to the rumble of engines to the explosion rumble through the chest.
Move over DUNE. You have new competition for DEMO disc of 2022.
In a rarity, the bonus materials are on both the 4K disc and the Blu-ray. There is a lot for Bayhem fans here, but it still falls a little short.
Bayhem – Cast and crew discuss what it is like working with Mr. Mayhem himself, Michael Bay.
Pedal to the Metal – Take a ride to see how Bay took car chases to a new level.
Aerial Assault – There are some crazy drone shots in the movie and this featurette looks at them.
Finding Ambulance* – Cast and crew discuss what drew them to Ambulance and how it grew to what we saw on screen.
Chase Capital of the World* – Cast and crew discuss how the streets of LA and its surrounding highways turned into another character in the film.
A Tribute to First Responders – Jake Gyllenhaal and Eiza González discuss their growing respect and understanding for first responders.
*Exclusive to 4K UHD and Blu-ray.
Conclusions & Final Thoughts
Ambulance is an action RIDE both for the eyes and ears. I’m still debating on whether this is a step above DUNE for the top 4K release spot of 2022. I would have loved a commentary from Michael Bay and the top cast, but we do get some cool stuff.
This is the disc you’ll end up reaching for to show off your system. Well done, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, well done.