El Camino Movie Review: In ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie;' Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul return to the aftermath of ‘Breaking Bad;' a two-hour film that is entertaining and often exhilarating; but never feels necessary.
Beyond creating an all-time great show, Vince Gilligan has already accomplished some exceedingly tough feats with Breaking Bad.
First, Gilligan and his crew crafted a legendary final season, culminating in the Mt. Rushmore episode “Ozymandias” and building to a denouement that, while maybe overly clean, is nevertheless powerful and rewarding.
Then Gilligan and Peter Gould ventured to follow up Breaking Bad with Better Call Saul, a spinoff that comes dangerously close to being on par.
So when it was announced that Gilligan and Aaron Paul would reunite for Netflix‘s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, it sounded like the kind of risky venture you'd laugh at, but Gilligan has made a career out of pulling off the impossible.
Is El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie A Trio of Tv Unicorns For Gilligan?
No, but there's nothing wrong with that. El Camino is a high-quality suspense and action film that is carried by Paul's still-impressive performance as Jesse Pinkman.
It looks and sounds wonderful, and if you're a fan, there are plenty of cameos and references to delight you.
It's also, and this isn't a minor flaw, largely unneeded in the context of the bigger Breaking Bad story.
At the very least, it's pointless in a harmless and entertaining sense.
It is completely harmless. It only responds. I'm not sure I was interested in the questions I didn't ask.
To keep spoilers to a minimum — presuming you've seen Breaking Bad — El Camino begins up immediately after the 2013 Breaking Bad climax, with Jesse (Paul) driving away from the gunfight that left many Nazis dead, as well as Bryan Cranston's Walter White.
With a two-hour runtime, the film depicts the immediate aftermath of that frantic exit, not in real-time but with enough sequences of the kind of step-by-step, tension-building procedure that Breaking Bad and Saul viewers have come to expect.
El Camino Story
Gilligan intended to convey a surprisingly short story for viewers who wondered, “But when he drove away; it's not like Jesse just drove out of town; right?” and required specifics on all of his subsequent steps.
A lot of flashbacks, some of which are just fan-service cameo generators, and; in more prolonged form; answers to the question “What happened in those months the Nazis were torturing Jesse?” expand the time frame a little bit.
I'm not so closure-seeking that I required a response to the first question, and I'm not so short on the imagination that I needed an answer to the second.
“Jesse fled, but I'm sure there were issues” and “He was tortured, of course” were usually enough for me.
Breaking Bad was always regarded and described as Walter White's story, which is the greatest way to justify the “need” for this film.
Mr. Chips becoming Scarface, which was Walter's story, was pitched, and that centrality was confirmed, even as the program got increasingly two-handed.
By insisting on submitting Bryan Cranston for “lead” actor Emmys and Paul for “supporting” actor Emmys — a decision that ensured they never had to compete for awards — but almost probably cost Dean Norris and Jonathan Banks Emmys.
As a result, Breaking Bad was portrayed as Walter's story, with “Felina,” the finale, serving as the end.
But, as you watch and repeat Breaking Bad, it becomes increasingly evident that, while Walter White had the easier-to-encapsulate plot, the series narrative genuinely belonged to Jesse.
Except in Breaking Bad, Jesse Pinkman received exactly the finish he deserved.
What Was The Point Of The El Camino Movie?
Jesse has gone wherever he is led throughout the film to achieve his objective of independence.
The ultimate action he makes to obtain it is totally out of character.
But it is at this time that he takes control of his own life and becomes an active participant in his own story, as Jane advises.
Frequently Asked Questions
Was El Camino A Flop?
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie attracted 6.5 million viewers in its first weekend in the United States, making it one of Netflix's most popular original films of the year.
Is El Camino Worth Watching?
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is an excellent addition to the Breaking Bad universe.
It continues the story of a character who was the show's moral center – or at least pretended to be one – and brings his trajectory to a satisfactory conclusion.
Did Jesse Get a Happy Ending?
Jesse has a happy ending in the finale when Walt, finally exhibiting some sorrow for what he'd done to his former student, lets him go.
But the last image we saw of Jesse was him behind the wheel, shouting and speeding along backroads to getaway.