Thanks to a cumulative box office haul of just under $6.5 billion, Michael Bay ranks as the fourth highest-grossing director in the history of cinema behind only Steven Spielberg, the Russo brothers, and Peter Jackson. However, the action auteur’s filmography has hardly been showered in continuous critical acclaim, which makes Ambulance the single most ironic movie of his career.
A 69 percent Rotten Tomatoes score puts it level with The Rock as the best-reviewed installment in the Bay back catalogue, but the tale of Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s bank robbery gone terribly wrong holds an audience score of 88 percent, edging just ahead of the Sean Connery/Nicolas Cage double act’s 85 percent.
By those metrics, Ambulance is the best film the longtime Transformers steward has ever made, but it also turned out to be his lowest-grossing. To be fair, the $50 million budget did make it Bay’s most cost-effective effort in decades, but a $51 million take from theaters additionally puts it right at the bottom of the pile to continue slathering on the irony.
That being said, streaming and on-demand has finally given the high-octane chase thriller the ability to draw in its biggest audience yet, with Ambulance proving to be an absolute monster among at-home crowds. As per FlixPatrol, not only is it a Top 10 hit on iTunes in 19 countries, but it’s also close to the summit on Google Play Movies in a further 17 nations.
Unlike the visual effects, Ambulance wasn’t sh*t, something too many people didn’t find out until recently.