Breaking Bad beats a new path towards 'El Camino'

October 15, 2019

 

 

El Camino is a worthy follow-up to the critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad, even if it is six years too late.


I would like to preface my review by saying that I am a huge Breaking Bad fan.

 

 

Photo courtesy imdb.com

Breaking Bad's follow-up El Camino film is available on Netflix.

 

 

I have watched the series at least seven times all the way through.  

 

I own merchandise and I have spent money going on the Breaking Bad RV tours in Albuquerque.  

 

I am incredibly biased when it comes to the world Vince Gilligan created.  

 

I also think that makes me one of El Camino’s harsher critics.


To me, Breaking Bad was the perfect show.  It was a 62-episode masterpiece, so I was very wary of Gilligan going back to it and possibly ruining the ending.  


The ending of Breaking Bad is one of those rare satisfying series finales.  


I re-watched Breaking Bad going into the new movie and I realized that the way the show ended makes a Jesse Pinkman follow-up necessary.  


The series played out like a show with two main characters: Jesse Pinkman and Walter White.

 

But by the end of the show, it was clear that this was Walter’s story all along.

 

What happens to Jesse after the tense finale was left up to interpretation.

 

He was the odd man out in a story where every loose end was tied up.

 

That’s where my biggest issue with the film comes up.

 

El Camino does a fine job wrapping up Jesse Pinkman’s story, but it shouldn’t have been made into a movie.

 

The whole time watching El Camino I felt that it should have been made into a miniseries. 

 

The film explores so much in such a short timeframe, including flashbacks to a weekend Jesse had with Todd.

 

When you get to the main antagonists of the film, it’s clear you could have spent hours exploring that.  

 

Breaking Bad was a series for a reason.

 

You cannot properly delve into these complex characters in such a short amount of time.

 

It’s hard to elaborate more without spoilers.

 

My positives with the film are easy.  The cinematography is top notch and the acting is superb.  

 

Aaron Paul struggled after Breaking Bad which is odd because the series is showed off his impressive acting abilities.  

 

Seeing him back again in his own movie, as the character he was born to play was just incredible.  

 

Throughout Breaking Bad, Jesse was a man who kept getting hit with constant losses.

 

He lost his money, his family and the loves of his life.  

 

In El Camino, Jesse is a man with nothing to lose and this makes him a very interesting character.

 

A glaring non-issue with the film is the change in actor’s appearance.

 

It’s something that kept taking me out of the film, but you can’t really blame actors for looking different after 6 years.  

 

The most notable difference is Jesse Plemons as Todd.  


In Breaking Bad, Plemons is a very skinny and young-looking character.

 

Plemons has packed on some weight in the last 6 years.

 

At first that was all I could think about when he was on screen, but he played the character well, so I got over it quickly.  

 

There was also a noticeable bald cap on one of the actors who cameos in the film.

 

 Maybe it’s because I just finished a whole series where that character is actually bald.  

 

I’d be very curious to see if others catch it or it just stood out to me.  

 

These are all non-issues though.  They are logistical factors that really make no difference in whether the film is good or not. 


El Camino was able to tame all my worries that it would kill the ending of my favorite TV show and proved that its existence was worthy.  

 

I was very pleased with El Camino.  

 

You will appreciate it more if you are a Breaking Bad fan, but I think it’s a legitimately good film that everyone can enjoy.  As a Breaking Bad fan, I give it 4/5 stars.

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