In the high-concept mould of Speed and Unstoppable, Michael Bay’s Ambulance gives us an ambulance, hijacked by bank robbers, that isn’t allowed to stop moving. It’s a real throwback to the era of genuine stunts, cars flipping over on fire, helicopters flying under bridges, and charismatic villains – with much less charm than you’d like, insultingly mechanical use of archetypes to manipulate your feelings, and low expectations of its audience. We discuss how well or badly it balances its actors, tells its story, uses its milieu to offer a portrait of the society in which it’s set, and more.
José returns from a week at Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, just in time to see Venice crumble in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the latest injection of plot development to the Marvel series. It hits him in the gut and the film doesn’t recover, José seeing a lack of respect and intelligence that colours the entire experience for him. Mike, on the other hand, doesn’t particularly care for buildings, and finds a lot to like, including one of the more interesting villains Marvel has offered, one that self-referentially comments on image-making and the expanding chasm between what the public is shown and what is actually happening, and a setting – a school trip across Europe – that provides a way for the competing parts of Peter Parker’s life to interfere dramatically.
There’s much up for debate, our experiences differing severely. Two things we can agree on: it isn’t particularly well shot, and Tom Holland’s performance soars. Comme ci, comme ça, as they say in Europe.
The podcast can be listened to in the players above or on iTunes.