El Camino review

Jesse Pinkman’s back, B***h!


El Camino

Ana Peres Bogo, Writer

Six years after the finale of one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows “Breaking Bad,” showrunner Vince Gilligan pairs with Netflix to tell the story fans have been waiting for: what happened to Jesse Pinkman? In “El Camino”, the fans get to see their most beloved characters back in situations only Gilligan would be able to think of. 

The movie starts exactly where the series ended, Jessie (Aaron Paul) in an El Camino escaping after being saved by Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Now, he has to figure it out how to hide from the police. Being weighed down by the trauma, we get to see a much darker side of Pinkman, and how that translates to the way he deals with numerous situations. His feelings and anxieties gain new importance in the movie. 

As the narrative progresses it’s clear how similar to Heisenberg, his father figure, Pinkman has become. From manipulating situations to really thinking, something that didn’t happen in the first seasons of the show, Pinkman is a strategist through and through. It’s palpable how much he learned from his former teacher. Even when he is surprised, he never panics. Paul’s acting is splendid, and he never leaves the audience lacking when it comes to seeing the internal battle Pinkman is going through. 

“El Camino” brings back many elements fans love, like the slow-paced scenes that bring an almost unbearable moments of tension. The unbelievable plot twists and the extremely funny dynamics between the characters like Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and Badger (Matt L. Jones) are only a few things that gave the movie a feeling of nostalgia. Even though the show was known for its long scenes, there are a couple in the movie that were simply just too long, and that made it feel a bit tiring to watch. 

The light tone that is brought to dark events, for example, a happy song playing over a murder, creates a uniquely “Breaking Bad” experience. The cinematography was clearly given great consideration, as all the scenes were beautiful, especially the ones in the middle of the desert. The soundtrack, in the moments of tension, were very similar to the music in the opening of the series; these tiny details are sure to make the diehard fans very pleased. 

The movie is a great way to give the fans closure, to know what happened to the characters and how they cope with the ongoing trauma they suffered since the last time we saw them. The movie has everything “Breaking Bad” had, furthering the affection we have for the characters. The flashbacks are perfectly presented in the narrative, allowing Gilligan to return to old characters that help bring to a close Pinkman’s journey.