(director: Tom Oesch; screenwriter: Steffen Schlachtenhaufen; cinematographer: Vance Burberry; editor: Thomas Sabinsky; music: Nima Fakhrara; cast: Tom Everett Scott (Dean), James Jurdi (Eric), Denis O’Hare (Craddock), Michael O‘Neill (Beckwith), Angelica Celaya (Brie), Damon Dayoub (Max), Goya Robles (Reuben), Charles Shaugnessy (Akkerman), Stephan A, Chang (Wong), Gillian Brashear (Mrs. Milbrath); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Chadi Eli Mattar/Mark James/James Jurdi/Naji Jurdi/David Willing/Scott C. Silver; Freestyle Digital Media; 2018)
“A messy action-comedy with no moral compass.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A messy action-comedy with no moral compass. It’s helmed by the Swiss-born Tom Oesch. The screenplay by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen (Would You Rather) is strained. The title is derived from the code name of the trusted number one ambulance in the story.
Dean (Tom Everett Scott) and Eric (James Jurdi) are L.A. paramedics in a struggling ambulance company Eric’s wise-guy egotistical friend Dean owns. They discover that a traffic accident victim smuggler dies in their ambulance (Danger One) with a million bucks stashed in plastic packets in his coat. Also in the ambulance is the volatile fireman Max (Damon Dayoub). The two coerce the person of reason, Eric, into splitting the money three ways and not reporting it. This decision leads to a long night of mounting violence, some twists and turns, and a chilling tenseness. Problems arise when corrupt ICE agents go after the money, as does a ruthless freelance thug bagman (Denis O’Hare) for the mob who was just dumped by his boss and then killed him. Though things begin as a lark, it turns bloody and bleak when the ambulance duo realize they got into something above their heads, where their adversaries are not playing and their theft leaves them in a critical life and death situation.
The set-up is familiar (too familiar!), the acting is good, but the script offers only one-dimensional characters not worth caring about and a stalled plot that runs out of ideas.
REVIEWED ON 2/1/2019 GRADE: C