El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie Review
by J. Dalgleish
***** 5 Stars
As a big fan of the franchise, I was satisfied at the end.
SPOILER WARNING: There are plot spoilers in this review for Breaking Bad and El Camino. If you do not want to know what happens, then do not read on. You have been warned!
El Camino ( directed by Vince Gilligan and starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman) tells us the aftermath effects of the ending events in the very last episode of the TV Series Breaking Bad. In the closing episodes of Breaking Bad, Pinkman is locked in a cage, beaten and forced to work for a gang of criminals. Todd, who plays a huge part in this movie, is the one keeping Jesse in this cage. At the very end of the final episode of Breaking Bad, Pinkman escapes the gang as Walter White uses his ingenuity to take down a gang. Pinkman escapes in his car called “El Camino” and drives away screaming with happiness and that is where Breaking Bad ends.
This movie carries on directly from that moment, and it’s a fantastic watch, using Jesse as the primary focus. In Breaking Bad, our focus was on Walter White, his lung cancer and his path towards criminality. Jesse Pinkman was Walt’s right-hand man, but we never learned much about his past life, or about him in general. Breaking Bad fans, however, loved Jesse throughout. His comedic, emotional and romantic side really helped us as an audience understand Jesse and sympathise with him. So this films fills in the gaps of what happens to Jesse after the series.
Is he dead? Has he been arrested? Is he actually free? These are constant questions that have been floating around ever since Breaking Bad ended in 2013. So, we have had to wait 6 years to find out. Was the wait worth it? 100% yes it was. There were some scenes that were relatively predictable but that’s because I’m a huge Breaking Bad fan. But this movie is very sombre and emotional. There is little comic relief but it’s meant to be sad. Jesse has escaped from the hands of the evil gang and he’s free, but he must now escape the hands of the law who are trying to hunt him down first.
As a big fan of the franchise, I was satisfied at the end. This is because if you had watched Breaking Bad beforehand, we would’ve wanted what was best for Jesse Pinkman, and he’s got that. For example, we see a conversation between Jesse and his ex-girlfriend Jane. The conversation was basically about Jane making decisions by herself rather than letting the universe decide. We then see Jesse driving off through the snow with a smile on his face, which mirrors the scene right at the end of Breaking Bad where he’s also free.
In my opinion there is nothing bad about this movie; there’s barely anything I would change (besides maybe having a cameo from Saul Goodman and Huell Babineaux). This movie fully satisfied me as a huge Breaking Bad fan.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is currently available on Netflix and was rated 15 by the BBFC.