Michael Bay Bashes The CGI In Ambulance, A Movie He Directed

Amid the endless cycle of blockbuster PR, it's always refreshing to hear someone give it to us straight. This week, that's what Michael Bay seems to be doing when promoting his new film "Ambulance." As Comic Book reports, the filmmaker spoke with the French company "Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont" recently, and got unexpectedly candid about what he does and doesn't love about his new movie.

"Ambulance" is an action thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul Mateen II as a pair of brothers, Danny and Will, who end up robbing a bank to pay for Will's family's medical bills. When the robbery goes way off track, they end up hijacking an ambulance, complete with an EMT and critically injured patient on board. Bay, who directed and produced the film, seems happy with the story and characters, but less so with some of the final CGI imagery. "Most of it is real stunts," he says, and "there's very few blue-screen shots [in] the movie."

The sound and stunts apparently rock, though

The filmmaker praises the realistic stunts in the film, saying that the explosions and car flips are all real, but then admits that "some of the CGI is sh*t in this movie." The director seems to be in good humor about it in the video interview, but bluntly admits, "There's a couple shots I wasn't happy with, okay?" It's always a surprise to hear someone promoting a project admit its faults, but this honestly makes me want to see "Ambulance" more than I did before. Not because it's fun to look at bad CGI, but because I'm of the school of thought that much of the CGI we see is bad and no one is brave enough to admit it.

Available footage of the fairly realistic-looking film doesn't make it seem like it would be CGI-heavy, but these days, computerized animation is typical in everything from David Fincher thrillers to big-screen musical adaptations. In movies that aren't almost entirely green-screened, it's often tough to tell whether something is digitally added or not; we look for CGI in a "Spider-Man" film, but maybe not in something like "Gone Girl." Judging by Bay's comments, the CGI in "Ambulance" may stand out a bit more than it's meant to, but he does point out that the movie has other technical aspects that make up for it.

"The Atmos is amazing," Bay says of the Dolby sound used in some movie theaters. "These Oscar-winning sound guys ... make it very immersive." The filmmaker is also the first to admit that for this particular project, which was apparently shot during a peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, he wasn't as concerned about shooting the action as he was about capturing the heart of the film. "What I'm interested in is the tension of the characters and using the claustrophobia," he explains.

"Ambulance" is in theaters April 8, 2022.