El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix – 2019)

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Photo from Slash Film

El Camino is a film that takes place after the events of the TV show, Breaking Bad, which follows Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) escape of the gang who have been torturing him and of his mentor/father figure Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

I will start off with a question that I’ve been seeing a lot around this film. Was it necessary? The answer is no. But Better Call Saul is another show in the Breaking Bad universe that isn’t necessary, yet is beloved by fans and critics alike and I’m sure El Camino will prove to be the same.

Jesse Pinkman is my favorite character in Breaking Bad and the character that has suffered the most on the show. So I will gladly have more Jesse Pinkman in my life any day. And though I believed the final episode of the show provided closure for Jesse’s arc, it was left a bit open-ended, and this film doesn’t leave anything up for question in terms of Jesse.

It will come to no surprise that Aaron Paul is fantastic as Jesse once again. Here  Jesse is broken, paranoid, and desperate. And it’s through Paul’s performance that you are reminded how rich  these characters are and how easy it is to be sucked back into this story though the show has been over for 4 years. There are also cameos and small roles of Breaking Bad characters from the past and present, some of which were highlights of the film.

I only have one nitpick about the film, which is a flashback sequence that seems to take place around season 1 or 2 of the show. And since it’s been 10 years since Breaking Bad aired, Aaron Paul looks much older and is not believable as a 20-something-year old in this scene.

I’ve seen a few people complain that nothing really happens in the film and that is true. It is basically Jesse trying to evade the cops to the best of his ability. However, I really liked how it gave his character more closure than the finale and completed his arc. Jesse is the character that has suffered the most on the show, so I think it was nice to see what his life will entail without Walter White.

Creator, Vince Gilligan, is a genius, especially in terms of Breaking Bad. And though I haven’t seen Better Call Saul yet, I think the end of that series along with this film may signal the end of the Breaking Bad universe, which I’m very much okay with. I will be very eager to see what Gilligan has next in store as a writer and creator.

I give El Camino an A-

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