Ambulance

Aiming for the breathless crisis-upon-crisis thrills of pics like "Speed," Danish "Ambulance" drives through an obstacle course of plot implausibilities and tonal shifts. Tale of two luckless bank robbers who make their getaway in a stolen medical vehicle -- not realizing a nurse and gravely ill man are in the back -- is slickly mounted by helmer Laurits Munch-Petersen.

With:
With: Paw Henricksen, Helle Fagralid, Thomas Bo Larsen, Thorbjorn Hummel.

Aiming for the breathless crisis-upon-crisis thrills of pics like “Speed,” Danish “Ambulance” drives through an obstacle course of plot implausibilities and tonal shifts. Tale of two luckless bank robbers who make their getaway in a stolen medical vehicle — not realizing a nurse and gravely ill man are in the back — is slickly mounted by helmer Laurits Munch-Petersen. But it errs in taking over-the-top material seriously, when an approach closer to goofy “Raising Arizona” meets sardonic “Bringing Out the Dead” might have worked better. Euro theatrical and ancillary prospects are decent, remake deals possible.

Hardened ex-con Thomas Bo Larsen and spacey, soft-hearted younger brother Paw Henricksen rob a bank to pay for an operation that might save their mother’s life. But cops arrive forcing them to take an unplanned flight in a nearby ambulance. It takes them a while to discover a novice nurse (Helle Fagralid) cowering in the rear, not to mention an unconscious middle-aged heart attack victim (Thorbjorn Hummel) who needs immediate hospital care. Ostensibly taking place in real time, polished pic entertains but stretches credence too often to get away with its more sentimental and somber moments.

Ambulance

Denmark

Production: A Nordisk Film production in association with Isamarbejde, MED, TV2 and Danish Film Institute. Produced by Tomas Radoor. Executive producer, Kim Magnusson. Directed by Laurits Munch-Petersen. Screenplay, Munch-Petersen, Lars Andreas Petersen.

Crew: Camera (color), Jan Pallesen; editor, Catherine Ambus; music, Peter Peter; production designer, Savine Hvidd. Reviewed at Cinequest, San Jose, Calif., March 8, 2006. Original title: Ambulancen. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: With: Paw Henricksen, Helle Fagralid, Thomas Bo Larsen, Thorbjorn Hummel.

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