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,
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:
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.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.