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Film Review: “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”

Scott Edwards ‘21

Sports Editor

After six years of AMC’s hit show “Breaking Bad” being off the air with one of the most satisfying endings ever, there was still a door left wide open for more to come from it. The creator and director of the drama, Vince Gilligan, continuously said in the past that there is more to come and many fans of the show just assumed the spin-off, “Better Call Saul,” was what he meant.

 Finally on October 11,  fan hopes would be answered with the “Breaking Bad” movie, “El Camino,” which follows up the events of the series finale when Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, drives away from the neo-Nazi compound and has to find a way out with authotrities attempting to hunt him down. 

Was “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” able to supply a satisfying end to one of TV’s best series six years later?

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman is just one of those characters where if you see Paul in anything else, you think of him only as Pinkman. A character that fought his own and the demons around him trying to find a life outside of this bubble he has been stuck in for over a year. The movie begins with a flashback with Pinkman and fan-favorite Mike Ehrmantraut. Mike says that if he was Jesse, he’d go and start a whole new life, leaving the one he has behind. When doing so, he mentions Alaska as the place he’d go because it’s quiet, which he felt Jesse needed. This came to fruition in this movie and all made sense. The incredible performance by Aaron Paul in this film is not shocking, but instead reassuring. The flashbacks of him righting the wrongs of his life makes this a movie that fills your heart with joy. 

Pinkman is doing all that is in his power to avoid the cops and get away following the events in the “Breaking Bad” finale. That is where the film is really aimed toward. Jesse knocked on the door of his old friends, Skinny Pete and Badger. This is where he hid his “El Camino” that he escaped with, and Pete made sure to get rid of it and try to help Jesse as much as he could. The film was chilling in the sense of how much Jesse had changed from when he met him to this very movie where he was quiet, hurt, and more determined than ever before. He needed money, which led to a solid portion of the film and the remembrance of the series most disliked.

The flashbacks with him and Todd leading to Jesse doing everything in his power to get enough money and get away from this place. What the flashbacks showed however, despite the psychoticness of Todd, was that at times he was trying to be rather nice to Jesse. Jesse was broken, he had a chance to stop Todd and get away and he just hesitated because of how broken he was. Fast forward following the flashbacks was Jesse re-entering the apartment of Todd and he ransacked the place looking for the money that he could remember Todd hiding somewhere no one could find it. Just as he finally did, he could hear the door opening and it was two men in police jackets. Jesse had nowhere to go and was determined to hide. He was eventually found and put a gun to the head so that the cop in his possession had to call in the other man. Not wanting to hurt anyone, Jesse would be fooled and learn these two men were not police but instead former friends of Todd and company. This led to them going their separate ways with half of the money before Jesse realized that this man was the one who helped stick him in the circumstances he was when he had to cook for the neo-Nazis. 

Jesse would head to Saul Goodman’s contact, Ed, who helped both Saul and Walter White get away into a new life. That is what Jesse pursued but could not as he didn’t have the money to do it. This led to Jesse going back to get his other half all by himself. He went to the Kandy Welding Company and this is where one of the best scenes occurred as the draw by Pinkman saw all the man killed that was left to kill who had hurt him. He grabbed his money and was on his way gone but one more cut scene to fill the hearts.

Main one that probably had fans jump off their couches where Jesse was sitting in a diner following a cook with Walter White, the main character of the original show, also known as “Heisenberg” and portrayed by Bryan Cranston. A deep flashback to Season 2 when they cared so much about each other. It warms the heart to see both of them together one more time prior to Jesse finally finding his new beginning and a happy ending for the fans.

Many longtime fans of the movie wanted one more season over anything else, but they were at least happy to get an ending for Jesse Pinkman. A flashback with his love, Jane, was what helped give and even better smile as it was a goodbye where Jesse, instead of letting life come to him, went and found the ending fans wanted to see for him. If you are a fan of the series, it is an absolute must see. Netflix’s numbers rose incredibly because of this as Aaron Paul and Vince Gilligan delivered one final classic.