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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

We Don't Stop

Ambulance on IMDb

Plot Overview

mischievous boy w/slingThe late notorious bank robber LT had two sons, the elder white Danny and the younger black William, close in age, but one is adopted. They're fast friends until they grow up and go separate ways. Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal) studies at the police academy so he'll know his enemy better to out­wit him as he follows his father's foot­steps to rob banks. Will (Yahya Aboul-Mateen II) does a tour in Afghanistan and returns to start a family. He can't afford his wife's experi­mental surgery, so he goes to his brother for a loan, and against his better judgment joins his crew for a big heist.

Cam Thompson (Eiza González) was in her third year of residency to become a doctor when she lost her standing for doing speed. She's now a no-nonsense paramedic, professionally caring but detached from her work. Her boy­friend became a doctor and left her in the dust. After finishing a run, she and her rookie partner Scott (Colin Woodell) respond to a call of a “massive bank robbery” nearby. They load up wounded rookie Officer Zach (Jackson White) but are boarded by the two brothers looking to escape a police cordon. The police are onto them but refrain from a direct assault so as to avoid collateral damage. A rather high speed cat and mouse game ensues.


birthday party“Ambulance” has a rather strong subtext, not the least of which is racial harmony evidenced by the opening and repeated scenes of the two brothers, one white and one black, cavorting with each other in their youth. Later they are paired as criminals, and the police who stumble on their caper are black and white partners. The EMTs are a Latina and an Anglo pair.

punching outFor all the action in this flick, a lot of attention is directed to the work break. Black Will being laid off has lots of time to spend with his family when he's not going for inter­views, but he spends it hope­lessly playing dial-up with the insurance company (“My wife needs this surgery.”) When he finally reaches Super­visor 12, she's unable to help him. If Super­visor 11 and Super­visor 13 couldn't make it work, then this one can't either, not with their company's policy not to cover experimental procedures. So it's on to the next after her break is over with Will ragging her (“Sorry about your break”) for more attention. Danny gives the bank employees a time off on the floor that they'll talk about later. The two cops take an ad hoc break (“I'm on the clock”) so one can hit on a cute teller in the bank. The two EMTs have a coffee break after their run. Cam's old boy­friend tries to cut her short on the phone so he can finish his meal and get back to work. The two trauma docs he refers her to advise her from the golf course on her operation in progress. And the whole chase has got to be finished before rush hour when every­body heads home from work.

Besides those two layers is a historical one, the archetypical story of Noah and the ark envisioned by “water every­where” when they race down the L.A. River and the captain's dog is safely sequestered in a cop's car.

plowingFor those not settled in the sands of time, I offer this remedial history lesson, with apologies to those who don't need it. The biblical story is widely known of Adam & Eve's temptation and fall in the Garden of Eden, how the woman ate the forbidden fruit and gave it to her husband to eat (Gen. 3:6), God responding by increasing the severity of the woman's child­birth pains (Gen. 3:16) and making man's toil onerous (Gen. 3:17-19.) What is less well known—except in places like the Bible Belt—is a redo of sorts to ameliorate man's difficult labor. Noah's father Lamech had (Gen. 5:29) “called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” They had to follow the earlier template to get a reprieve. Instead of the forbidden tree to be respected by the first couple, there was old man Noah whose work break was to be respected by his three sons (Gen. 9:18-19) “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.” They formed them­selves into two pairs: the eldest Shem & Japheth, and the youngest Ham paired with his own son Canaan to make the numbers even. Instead of the wily serpent we had Noah's wife who since she isn't mentioned, did well incurring no rebuke. She would have made her­self scarce and given Noah some space when to relax he drank from the wine he'd fermented as medication for Ham's ailing son Canaan, (1Tim. 5:23) “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.” She then went to visit Ham to smooth over this set­back as he showed up shortly on the scene to check it out. Ham fell to temptation to mock his dad to his two brothers, but they wouldn't go along with it. This is parallel to Eve failing first then offering the fruit to Adam who accepted it, but here the oldest brothers did not go along with Ham, so we'd expect them to receive a blessing rather than a curse. Depicted below is that scene rendered in a Civil War vintage wood­cut, made after a drawing by Julius Schnorr von Carols­feld (German painter, 1794–1872) from his archive, published in 1877.

drunken Noah and his three sons

The alternate image text by licensor iStock.com/Getty Images explains what happened here to Noah after fermenting some grapes: “When he drank some of the wine, he got drunk and uncovered him­self inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers who were outside. Shem and Japheth took a garment and placed it on their shoulders. Then they walked in back­wards and covered up their father's nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so they did not see their father's nakedness (Genesis 9:21-23).”

Ham had put himself in jeopardy according to, (Prov. 30:17) “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” Especially pertinent in this case is Noah's control over the animals including the raven (Gen. 8:7) although Proverbs often gives general principles rather than specific results. Never­the­less, there is precedent when some kids mocked a man of God for not having a covering of hair and they got mauled by beasts, (2Kings 2:23-24) “And … as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”

There's a parity of eye loss and servitude given in (Exodus 21:26) “And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.” Ham and his line—represented by Canaan in Ham's line receiving the same curse which need not be mentioned twice—could be given servitude rather than mutilation. This would be in keeping with the sentiment of Job in, (Job 31:7-8) “If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my off­spring be rooted out.” In that woodcut-derived picture above we see Ham after turning aside from his mom's caution visiting his dad, getting carried away by an eyeful of the dishabille inebriate, and gesturing with his hands about it at the scene. If he were to “sow, and another eat” and his “off­spring be rooted out,” that would mean him becoming a slave and his offspring being carried away in slavery. Okay.

The Bible's account leans towards the latter. (Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” When Noah woke up, he blessed as a pair the lines of his two respectful sons and cursed Ham's line­—Ham paired with his youngest son Canaan—with servitude to his other two sons'. (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.”

More germane to modern times is perhaps the lineage of Cush, Ham's oldest son (Gen. 10:6,) Cush meaning black in Hebrew, having settled in Africa, some to become in later years African-American slaves. Researcher Bodie Hodge confirms that, “As a general trend, Ham is the father of many peoples in Africa” (122). Dr. Ide adds, “Ham sired four sons: Cush (translates as ‘black’) … and Canaan the youngest” (62).

This movie skips ahead to a happily integrated L.A. in the 21st century, we know not how, but Noah's template is still in effect. He'd blessed Shem and we see a prosperous LA Federal Bank presumably owned by Jews, to wit Semites. For that matter St. Vincent's Hospital at the end of the run is Catholic and Jesus was Jewish. Japheth was to be enlarged and “dwell in the tents of Shem,” i.e. partake of all his blessings. Writer Bodie Hodge holds forth that: “Generally, from the Middle East in the land of Shinar (modern-day Iraq, where Babel was), Japheth's descendants went north toward Europe and Asia, Ham's went toward Africa, and Shem's remained in the Middle East” (183). The Anglos and Hispanics would be in Japheth's line blessed with Shem. They seem to do well in this movie. Canaan representing Ham's line was to be their servant.

Will was descended from (black) Cush in that line of Ham. He served his country honorably. Then he served his family to the extent of sacrificing him­self for it. He served his brother becoming his helper when he needed one. He served the wounded officer by driving the ambulance (“This guy's a heluva driver!”) When he was about to bleed out, William gave his arm for a blood trans­fusion. When Cam needed extra hands for the operation, Will climbed in back and pitched in from his combat triage experience. And eventually Will gets shot when he takes point on a door. I think life on the plantation would have been easier.

Production Values

” (2022) was based on the shorter Danish film “Ambulancen.” This one was directed by Michael Bay and was written by Chris Fedak. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González, and Garret Dillahunt. Gyllenhaal, Abdul-Mateen and Gonzalez gave wicked performances.

Amidst all the rush is touching black family footage, hope for the EMT to raise her own once her career is secure, a rookie cop getting up the nerve to flirt with a pretty teller, a criminal who adopted, and with less sympathy a captain who was anxious to get home to his "husband"—California's Proposition 8 had banned same-sex marriage, but a Yankee precedent made its way to them through the Court. At any rate, the cop partners loved each other, too, but they didn't get any special treatment.

MPAA rated it R for intense violence, bloody images and language through­out. There were lots of Dutch angles and profuse acrobatic camera work. Some­how they put us right inside the ambulance. It had a great music score. The plot was easy enough to follow, but it had some cringe­worthy lines. It's 1¼ hours long. It's meant for the big screen.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This was one intense chase in a city that was movie-realistic. It left me staggering on the way out of the theater. See it for its action and be thankful for its few respites.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four and a half stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print. Software.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.

The Book of Jasher. Trans­lated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print, Web.

Ide, Arthur Frederick. Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homo­phobia and Hetero­sexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument Press, 1992. Print.