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The Graphic Ambulance Scene That Had Michael Bay Consulting Trauma Doctors To Ensure Accuracy

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Ambulance. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!

Ambulance is full of intense moments, Michael Bay delivering his special sauce in plenty of explosions, but there is one sequence that stands a head above the rest. In the second act of the movie, EMT Cam Thompson, played by Eiza Gonzalez, is forced to perform amateur surgery on a bullet wound while the titular emergency vehicle is leading cop cars in a highway chase, and ultimately the whole thing is taken to ridiculous levels as the patient experiences a burst spleen that ends up being clamped with a hair clip.

The whole situation may seem insane and totally improbable – but Michael Bay insists that what we see go down in the scene is based on actual procedure, which he learned about from real trauma doctors.

I sat down with the filmmaker earlier this month during the Los Angeles press day for Ambulance – also having the opportunity to interview stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Eiza Gonzalez – and in between talking about Bay’s self-awareness and convincing Dwayne Johnson not to quit the production of Pain & Gain, I felt compelled during to ask about the big spleen bursting. Acting very proud of the work that was done, Bay explained how he went extra lengths in the development of the scene to make it as true-to-life as he possibly could. Said the director,

There's a lifesaving surgery in the ambulance – that was completely real, set up by two trauma doctors. I'm FaceTiming with an anatomically correct dummy body. Every part is real anatomically. How far she has to do... and I'm not gonna be graphic, but what's going down, that's what will go down.

Ambulance was made with a budget nearly $200 million less than his last Transformers movie, but Michael Bay got some serious production value and thrills out of his R-rated surgery sequence. It features Eiza Gonzalez (who had a panic attack during filming) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen’s characters going wrist-deep inside the chest cavity of the cop played by Jackson White, and while it seems like the film is just playing up extremes, apparently that’s not the case.

Continuing, Michael Bay not only emphasized the qualifications of the medical professionals that he consulted in the making of Ambulance, but revealed that the men he talked to are featured in the film: they are the doctors who, via FaceTime from the golf course, guide Cam Thompson through the surgery:

'Cause they are FaceTiming. These are guys, these are doctors that have worked with trauma bullet surgeries, and I said, 'This is the tools they have, what would happen?'... And believe it or not, those two guys talking, the doctors, those are the real doctors!

Ambulance is now playing in theaters everywhere, and you can discover all of the films set to arrive on the big screen and streaming between now and the end of the year via our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.