5 most preposterous 'Ambulance' moments: Bridge-buzzing copters, mobile spleen surgery

·4 min read

Spoiler alert: This story discusses preposterous moments throughout "Ambulance."

Director Michael Bay's "Ambulance" can be an insanely gratifying wild ride that frees viewers from ever pondering, "Could this really happen?"

It most certainly could not.

The fantastically farfetched film (now in theaters) features two brothers, Danny and Will Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who escape a botched $32 million Los Angeles bank heist by hijacking an ambulance carrying a wounded police officer and the paramedic (Eiza Gonzalez) who's fighting to save his life.

In real life, police chases with stolen ambulances have happened, including a 40-mile police pursuit in 2018. "Ambulance" also features accurate law-enforcement jargon and procedures, thanks to Bay's reliance on police officials as technical consultants.

Pretty much the rest is utter, unrestrained Bayhem. We've whittled down our five craziest moments:

Total Bayhem! Every Michael Bay action movie, definitively ranked (including 'Ambulance')

Eiza González as Camille “Cam” Thompson in "Ambulance"
Eiza González as Camille “Cam” Thompson in "Ambulance"

There's an emergency, first-time ambulance spleen operation

Any list of "did that just happen?" moments must feature the spleen operation performed by first-time surgeon Cam Thompson (Gonzalez), with an assist by Will, who discovers a hidden bullet wound that's making her police officer bleed out. With limited surgical equipment and no anesthesia, Will has to wallop the patient to keep him from waking up in a panic mid-procedure.

Cam gets her hands deep into the patient while receiving instructions in a video call with her surgeon ex-boyfriend (Andy Favreau) who links in his colleagues on a golf course for conference call surgery. Cam nails it with a MacGyver flourish, closing the wound with her hair clip when the spleen bursts.

Later, the officer, not looking too shabby after major surgery, asks, "Was your hand in my stomach?" Yes, officer, it was.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Danny Sharp in "Ambulance" directed by Michael Bay.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Danny Sharp in "Ambulance" directed by Michael Bay.

The helicopters buzz shooting suspects, burst through bridges

The pursuing LAPD Air Support gets gnarly chasing the ambulance during the 51-mile concrete section of the Los Angeles River. The two Airbus H125 helicopters fly 5 to 10 feet above the basin and swoop under the familiar arches of the iconic concrete bridges, with about 15 to 50 feet between them. Then the helicopters divebomb the escaping ambulance, with Danny leaning out the window firing at them.

The impossible scene is pulled off using two helicopter stunt pilots, Fred North and Ben Skorstad.

Longtime Bay consultant and LAPD veteran Jamie McBride says he pointed out that LAPD copters would never fly that low and never under bridges, or so close to one another (and the ambulance). "Michael values his advisers," says McBride. "And he also lets you know, 'Hey, I'm making a movie!'"

Captain Monroe (Garret Dillahunt) is stuck working the major police incident on his day off with his mastiff Nitro.
Captain Monroe (Garret Dillahunt) is stuck working the major police incident on his day off with his mastiff Nitro.

Police chief calls off a close pursuit due to flatulent dog

Captain Monroe (Garret Dillahunt), leading the LAPD's Special Investigation Section unit, calls off an especially tight chase of the fleeing ambulance after he learns that his 200-pound, flatulent mastiff Nitro is in the back of the lead pursuing police car.

"Fall back," Monroe orders when he learns that Nitro, who was supposed to be transported home on his day off, is in the middle of the melee.

True parts of the scene: Nitro is adorable, and mastiffs are known for their flatulence. Bay would know: It's his dog, Nitro Zeus, playing the canine role in a charming breakout performance.

Danny Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal), left, and Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) in "Ambulance."
Danny Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal), left, and Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) in "Ambulance."

Snipers are commanded to shoot out the drivers on the highway

There's real-time pressure to end the ambulance chase, which is aired on every TV station, even by Los Angeles' liberal mayor. Monroe orders police snipers to take out Danny and Will – while they are driving on a secluded highway with Cam in the back of the ambulance.

The duo is in the steady snipers' crosshairs when Monroe discovers his injured officer somehow survived his spleen surgery. He calls off the strike.

Craziest death: Shooter explodes into ambulance windshield

Danny hatches a plan with a gang leader to meet under a bridge with more stolen ambulances and then drive them out to fully confuse the police. Great idea, despite the bizarre idea to paint their own ambulance bright neon green. It all goes downhill from there, and the gang eventually turns on Danny and Will. One member tries to take out the moving ambulance from the front with a handgun but is blown skyward by an errant ex shot by a colleague.

His final resting place is midway through the windshield of the speeding ambulance. Will pushes the casualty aside and just drives on.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Ambulance': Michael Bay's top 5 preposterous moments (Spoilers!)