El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

Vince Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad” ended beautifully with Walter White embracing death finally, and Jesse Pinkman tasting freedom after being chained up and dehumanized for such a long time. I was happy with the ending Vince Gilligan gave us. What I loved about “El Camino” is that it doesn’t try to be spectacular, nor does it open the door for a new series. It’s merely the epilogue of the “Breaking Bad” saga where Jesse Pinkman has to fight one last time for his freedom.

After months of being dehumanized, degraded and tortured by the white supremacists, Jesse Pinkman is finally free. With Walter White dead, Pinkman is now a wanted man. Suffering from PTSD and thinking over his life in crime, Pinkman goes for one final score that will ensure him a ticket to freedom and a chance to start a brand new chapter in his life. The bad news is, you’ll have to have seen the entirety of “Breaking Bad” to understand the finer points of “El Camino.” The good news is that “El Camino” is a fine book end to the series that finds Jesse Pinkman working without the know how of Walter White.

As expected, Pinkman is a shell of himself when we see him. He’s been tormented, humiliated, tortured, and he literally has nowhere to go. To make things worse, every move he makes has to be calculated to avoid running in to authorities and making him a target once more. There s a great sense of urgency with Jesse’s journey as he comes to grip with what led him to his fate. There are some really good flashbacks with appearances from a lot of key characters from “Breaking Bad.” Thankfully Gilligan doesn’t go too far with the appearances, only providing those that can offer insight in to Jesse’s rise and fall, and his absolute painful imprisonment. The true center of “El Camino” is the sick relationship with Jesse and Todd, both of whom are polar opposites of Walter’s ideal partner.

He’s an utter sociopath and a murderous monster whose casual approach to violence is unnerving, even to Jesse. Jesse Plemons is fantastic in his breakout role once again, offering us new layers of sheer horrendous behavior and how he seems to approach every deed with an apathetic shrug. Much of “El Camino” is about Jesse working tooth and nail to claw himself out of one more hole and find some sense of salvation, and it’s a satisfying conclusion offering interesting parallels to “Breaking Bad.” We didn’t really need “El Camino” when all is said and done, but it’s a satisfying epilogue to a fantastic saga, nevertheless.

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