Michael Bay's New Movie Offers a Hot Take on the Veteran Health Care Crisis

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Ambulance Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Jake Gyllenhaal
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Michael Bay's thriller "Ambulance." (Universal)

Your name is Will. You served your country in combat with distinction and came home with a Purple Heart medal. Times are tough, but you've got a family and you're trying to live your life like a good, patriotic American.

Then, your wife gets sick, and you need $231,000 to pay for life-saving surgery. You go to your (kinda sleazy) adoptive brother Danny to ask for a loan but, instead, he tries to recruit you to join him in a bank heist that's supposed to pay $31 million. You've got no other way to raise the money. What do you do?

The best answer would be to have elected congressional representatives and senators who voted decades ago to fund a system that provides adequate health care for our veterans, but that's not an option in real life nor in the movies.

Do you rob a bank to save your family? Director Michael Bay ("13 Hours," "Transformers," "Pearl Harbor") asks that question in his latest blow-'em-up epic "Ambulance," set to open in theaters on Feb. 18, 2022. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ("Watchmen," "Candyman," "Aquaman") stars as the desperate veteran, and Jake Gyllenhaal ("Nightcrawler," "Jarhead," "Zodiac") is the dirtbag adoptive brother who plans the robbery.

Universal Pictures has released the movie's first trailer.

 

Jake sure knows how to get in his brother's head, saying, "How's that right? You put your life down on the line for this country. You leave your family, your home." Yahya gets roped into a situation that looks like the legendary downtown L.A. shootout scene from Michael Mann's "Heat."

Things get hairy, and the brothers hijack an ambulance that's taking an injured policeman to the hospital. An EMT played by Eiza González ("Bloodshot," "Baby Driver") has to treat the officer while her vehicle gets chased through SoCal by cars and helicopters.

Will anyone get home after this disaster? Will the cop survive? Will our soldier's wife get her surgery? The trailer sets things up in a way that it's hard to imagine anyone coming out of this crisis in one piece. It's Michael Bay, so he's bound to have some kind of final act trick up his sleeve, but the trailer makes things look pretty bleak.

In the meantime, we should all aspire to live in an America where the premise of this movie seems ridiculous. It's not too hard to imagine a combat veteran struggling to pay a massive medical bill and facing financial ruin. Wouldn't it be great if our grandkids went to the Bay movie festival and couldn't understand why that war hero would ever need to rob a bank?

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