High-speed slog

A veteran (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) with a pregnant wife and mounting medical bills is persuaded by his best-bro-since-childhood bank robber friend (Jake Gyllenhaal) to take part in a sure-thing heist that will net them millions. 

Well, golly, things don’t go as planned, so to get away they hijack a nearby ambulance (which comes equipped with babe EMT Eiza Gonzales because, you know, it’s a movie), and the chase is on… and on…and on… as the movie flatlines into an overlong (two plus hours!) Speed ripoff.

Noted director of big, dumb movies Michael Bay (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Transformers) throws at us all his signature maximalist tricks — car chases (okay, just the one), swooping camera angles, cartoonishly casual carnage, sophomoric humor, and rapid-cut editing – but all this 20th-century stuff is getting a little creaky. And audiences are apparently responding, as this turkey is in the process of becoming a major box office dud. Can’t say I’m all broken up about that.

Let’s talk about Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s a good actor. And even if he’s not up there with Daniel Day Lewis or Joaquin Phoenix, he’s still a likeable, believable, solid A-lister. But he needs to seek out better roles than a one-note psycho bank robber in this kind of joyless drivel. 

P.S. Some are saying this is Bay’s best film in years. Those words don’t make any sense to me. (Time Out called it “Michael Bay at his most masturbatory.“ I just had to share that.) (136 min)