Disclaimer: This re- view contains spoilers for the “Breaking Bad” series.
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” was written and directed by “Breaking Bad” show-runner Vince Gilligan. It stars Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons and Robert Forster, along with a few other cast members from the origi- nal show. It is a continuation of character Jesse Pinkman’s escape from law enforcement and picks up directly after the series finale.
Over the past six weeks or so, I finally watched all of “Break- ing Bad” after hearing nothing but good things about it for the past few years. To give my quick thoughts on the series: Vince Gil- ligan is a genius, Bryan Crans- ton gives one of the best perfor- mances of all time, in television or film, as Walter White and it really is one of the best (if notthe best) show I’ve ever seen.
I didn’t really see any problems withhow“BreakingBad”ended. Walter’s poetic death in the lab and Jesse’sliberationfromNeo-Nazi meth dealers was perfect. Initially, Ididn’tevenknowifIwantedto watch“ElCamino”infearthatit would somehow ruin what good graces everything ended on. I liked how “Breaking Bad’s” end- ing was ambiguous with Jesse’s escape.Itallowedtheaudienceto come up with our own thoughts on where he ended up. With allofthisinmind,Icangladly say that “El Camino” is great.
It shouldn’t be a surprise at this point to hear that Aaron Paul was great once again as Jesse. It’s im- possible to envision anyone other than Paul portraying him. This moviealsodoesagreatjobwith wrapping up secondary char- acters, the best being in a small exchangethatJessehaswithhis friend Skinny Pete early on. A good bit of the film is told through flashbacks from when Jesse was still being held captive. During these flashbacks, Todd, played by Jesse Plemons, doesn’t do him- self any more favors in the ‘hu- manized, good guy’ department.
My only real ‘flaw’ with “El Camino” is that it doesn’t nec- essarily feel like a movie. The budget is clearly bigger than any episode from the series, but it doesn’t feel very cinematic or like an experience that felt the need to be seen in a the- ater. It’s more like a two-hour long episode of “Breaking Bad,” which isn’t a bad thing at all.
This movie made me remem- ber all the things I love about the character Jesse Pinkman. Even though he was once a drug-addicted meth cook who’s made numerous mistakes, you could always tell that he was a genuinely good person. I really loved that “El Camino” focused on just Jesse. Even with all of his screen time in “Breaking Bad,” he was always secondary to Walter. Everything about “El Camino” is bittersweet, down to the Jesse’s final on-screen catch-phrase: “Yeah bitch!”
So, does this movie really need to exist? No. Does it add that much onto the series? Not really. Should they ever make another movie about Jesse? No. But is it nice to see how Jesse’s story ended? Of course it is.