Netflix’s El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is a 2019 American crime thriller film and is an epilogue of the 5-season and 62-episode long television series Breaking Bad (2008) by the same creator and producer, Vince Gilligan. It continues the story of Jesse Pinkman and former teacher Walter White who wanted to become kingpins of an Albuquerque crystal Methamphetamine empire. The critical review for the El Camino was positive, and audiences get to see its older casts in their reprised roles.
El Camino is filmed in the Albuquerque Studios. Unlike Gilligan’s other projects, El Camino was a slow-paced movie that allowed everyone to improvise on the sets and bring out their best performances. This also proved fruitful as it won Satellite Awards for Best Motion Picture Made for Television, Golden Reel Awards for Sound Editing, and Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Best Movie Made for Television.
So in this article, we will explore El Camino: A Breaking Bad and try to review the film at its best.
About El Camino: A Breaking Bad
El Camino is a Spanish phrase for ‘the way’. The title of this film references Jesse’s car of escape at the end of Breaking Bad’s fifth season. This car was a Chevrolet El Camino, a coupé utility vehicle produced by Chevrolet between 1959–60 and 1964–1987. George Vincent Gilligan Jr. created, wrote, directed, and produced El Camino, which was released digitally on Netflix on October 11, 2019.
THE STAR CAST
Aaron Paul leads the movie as Jesse Pinkman, a Methamphetamine (or simply meth) cook partnered with his deceased chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Jane Margolis is Jesse’s expired girlfriend, played by Krysten Ritter. Charles Baker as Skinny Pete and Matt Jones as Brandon “Badger” Mayhew play Jesse’s friends. Tess Harper as Diane Pinkman and Michael Bofshever as Adam Pinkman are Jesse’s mother and father, respectively.
Other crucial stars in the movie are Jesse Plemons as Todd Alquist, Scott Shepherd as Casey, Scott MacArthur as Neil Kandy, Tom Bower as Lou Schanzer, Larry Hankin as Old Joe, Kevin Rankin as Kenny, Marla Gibbs as Jean, and Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut.
THE PLOT: The TV series
Walter, diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, needs money for his cure. Thus he becomes “Heisenberg” and partners with his former student Jesse to cook and trade his highly pure methamphetamine (“meth”) named blue sky meth with the volatile Tuco Salamanca. They are simultaneously troubled by various dealers involving a high-profile drug distributor Gus and legal authorities.
Jesse’s girlfriend Jane dies in the second season itself (2009). Hector Salamanca and Gus die in season 4, and Walter, Jesse, and Mike start their meth business afresh in season 5. Another distributor, Declan, comes into play. After a lot of actions in between, Walter is wounded while fighting for imprisoned Jesse and dies. They share a farewell glance before Jesse leaves.
The movie follows the series’ story with several flashbacks in between. It begins with a flashback of Mike starting over and amending past wrongdoings. Jesse goes to Albuquerque to meet Skinny Pete and Badger, where he hides his car and takes a rest. The following day, Pete and Badger make a plan to dispose of Jesse’s El Camino and drive him away from the police safely with Walter’s money. Meanwhile, he learns about Walter’s death.
Jesse sneaks into Todd’s apartment and meets two thugs, Neil Kandy and Casey, looking for Todd’s money. After a brief struggle, Jesse, Neil, and Casey share the money and leave. Later, he finds he needed $1,800 more to pay to his ‘disappearer’, Ed Galbraith.
Jesse sneaks into the Pinkman home. And, takes a Colt Woodsman and an Iver Johnson Hammerless pistol from his father’s safe. He uses them to recover Neil’s cash. After a few flashbacks with Walter and Jane, everything is sorted, and Jesse drives on with a smile.
El Camino Review
Vince Gilligan wrote El Camino, as he says, particularly for his old audiences. New audiences were not his target. Hence, only the followers of its television series will understand what’s happening around. The movie, therefore, offers a lesser story revolving primarily around Jesse’s aftermath of his tragic life as a meth cook, accompanied by flashbacks from his past.
The slow-paced movie allowed its actors to shine on-screen. The deceased Walter, Mike, and Jane have appeared in the flashbacks to fill the voids in between. This movie is Aaron Paul’s best performance ever. Also, the setup and locations were eye-treating along with better action sequels and light comic moments.
Overall with this review, El Camino is a movie that explores the unseen parts of the series in the form of memories. It completes the gaps left in its series.
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