El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) Review

camino

RATING: 4/5

[SPOILERS]

Following immediately after the final episode of “Breaking Bad,” this sequel film shows the character of Jesse Pinkman regaining his humanity after being held captive by the Neo-Nazis.

After 6 years, fans and audiences now have a full picture of what happened to Pinkman when he drove off. To which this film does great service in delivering closure to his character.

Jesse Pickman, played by Aaron Paul, was great in the film. The film did a good job of making one care for him, especially during some flashbacks scattered throughout. A majority of the flashbacks consisted of Pinkman’s time as a prisoner in the Neo-Nazi hideout. These scenes really helped at giving more insight into the struggles and pain that he endured. It also showed that he was still dealing with the scars, literally and figuratively, as the film was going. There were a couple well-executed moments of him having PTSD toward the beginning.

Along with Pickman, the film introduced many characters both old and new. The new characters, mainly the villains, were fine. They’ve served their purpose for better or for worse. For the old characters, it was a complete joy to see them return. Badger and Skinny Pete were great for being friends to Pinkman and helping it out, mostly Skinny Pete. It was awesome to see Walter White, Bryan Cranston, back. It was a shock to see Jane, Krysten Ritter, toward the end.

RIP Robert Forster.

I got to say, after watching the film, I can now say I like Todd a little more now. At first, I wasn’t too into his character because how can one go from a character like Gus, to someone like Todd. But the scenes with him and Pinkman got me feeling anxious and nervous. I think that came from the fact that Todd was treating Pinkman like an animal. He was petting him and grooming his hair.

The many nods and references to the “Breaking Bad” series were really sweet. It was very cool to see the aftermath of previous criminal establishments including Los Pollos Hermanos and Saul Goodman’s Law Firm. As well as the little things like Pinkman looking at a beetle on the ground and picking it up.

The cinematography in the film was great. There were many wide shots to get the sheer scope and many close-ups to get the raw emotions that were being echoed by really good performances. One of my favorites was the overhead view of Pinkman searching for the money in Todd’s apartment.

One of the themes presented was living the life the way one wants to and doing the right thing. A great scene involved White telling Pinkman that he feels good for him about having a full life ahead. Pinkman doesn’t have to wait till he was 50 to do the things that he wanted to do. The things that made him feel happy and fulfilled.

While it does a follow-up on some things left unanswered like with the criminal establishments and the fate of the business lady Lydia, the film still left some things unanswered which was a bit disappointing. The fate of both Badger and Skinny Pete, what happened to the White family, the bodies of Gomez and Hank being recovered in the desert, etc. I’m not sure if the series creator, Vince Gilligan, wants to make a new film/series to continue on these unanswered questions.

If that’s the case, I’m not sure if I want another continuation. I wanted this project to be a definite end to the entire series as a whole.

But I don’t think this film was to serve as an epilogue/finale for the series, it served as a conclusion to Pinkman’s story. It served as a closure to the grand development of him. The grand development of how Pinkman went from a junkie to a reformed man who wanted to fix his life around. Honestly, if the film was to answer all of the unanswered questions, it would have felt cluttered.

“El Camino,” in essence, is kind of pointless and unnecessary. But nonetheless, this was a great and well-crafted film. It showcased very nice cinematography, delivered the same tense emotions that “Breaking Bad” offered, and Aaron Paul’s performance was awesome. If one is a big fan of the AMC show, I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t like this.