El Camino Review
Breaking Bad is considered to be one of the greatest shows on television and for good reason, with incredible writing and direction from Vince Gilligan and equally as impressive performances from Bryan Cranston (Walter White) and Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman), it is no wonder the show was such a hit. The show ends with Walter White saving Jesse from Uncle Jack’s gang who had been forcing him to cook meth and Jesse getting away as Walter dies. 10 years after the end of Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan released El Camino, an epilogue to the show that follows Jesse Pinkman
The movie picks up exactly where the show ended. In fact, right before the movie plays, there is a recap of Breaking Bad that leads exactly into the movie. It starts with Jesse driving away in an “El Camino” car from Uncle Jack’s camp that he has been imprisoned in for a year. We then follow Jesse as he goes on a journey, visiting one cameo from the show to the next, to get enough money to change identities and leave forever.
The story of El Camino is nothing special and is in fact quite straight forward. However, it is propelled by both a fantastic performance from Aaron Paul as well as the classic Breaking Bad style that is endlessly entertaining. At some points in the film, unfortunately, it felt as if the producers were cramming in cameos just to appeal to fans. This almost felt like an attempt to play off of the nostalgia people had for the show instead of actually serving a purpose to the story. Additionally, the movie is extremely well shot, which is to be expected from Vince Gilligan and has great pacing all the way through. While the amount of effort that went into the movie was evident, in the end, it felt pointless as it movie ends exactly where the show did, with Jesse getting away. The way that the show ends suggests to the audience that Jesse got out of Albuquerque, New Mexico and is living as a free man.
Toward the end, the story drags the viewer along, building up to a climactic standoff, but then it just ends and it feels as if the last two hours were pointless. The movie was unnecessary, almost, as it ends exactly where we expected it to and there really was no big story changing moments in the story. It is an entertaining ride but by the end, it just feels like nothing happened.