Around six years ago, Mr. Walter White, a.k.a Heisenberg, walked to his very bloody and heartbreaking death in the critically acclaimed T.V. series, Breaking Bad. In the peripheral, we saw his partner-in-crime, Jesse Pinkman, drive through the desert with an El Camino. What happened to Jesse after he escaped death in the mob warehouse that night was left to the imagination of viewers; until today.
Netflix premiered on Friday the adaptation sequel of AMC’s most successful T.V. series Breaking Bad, “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.” The story follows the intense, dark, and risky life of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after he drove away from the commotion that ended the life of Heisenberg in the season finale of the original series.
The global success of Breaking Bad that has garnered distinctions and awards every season has amped up the expectation on the sequel El Camino. In late 2018, the creator of the series, Vince Gilligan, gathered people in New Mexico to collaborate with him as he writes the screenplay and directs the “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which was picked up by Netflix and started distributing today.
The ambiguity of the ending of Breaking Bad has left viewers with more questions than answers. What happened to Jesse? Will he be able to get his share of the money he and Heisenberg earns? Will he be caught?
These questions have since been attempted to be answered by fans around the world, and Gilligan decided to respond to them all at once – with a movie sequel to series. Expectations are really high for El Camino as it follows the original series as well as another T.V. sequel “Better Call Saul.”
With so much pressure from Breaking Bad’s legacy, El Camino did not disappoint and had definitely come up to the occasion with its vivid storytelling, brilliant cinematography, and nostalgic screenplay.
The movie did a really great job of capturing the vibe of the original series. It capitalizes on the somber color grading that represents the state of mind of its protagonist. While the movie appears to be darker than the series, it was still able to portray the very core of Jesse Pinkman – dark, somber, afraid, clouded.
El Camino did not open with a very engaging beginning, though. It starts with a dragging series of events that catapulted the storyline of Jesse into the intense yet rewarding ending that it deserves. As Jesse faced the national manhunt for him, he turned to his former friends and accomplices to get away and figuratively drive away from them with his El Camino – a subtle yet powerful parallel to how Jesse left his life with Heisenberg.
The most impressive part about the movie is its crisp development of the character arch of Jesse Pinkman. Viewers have known Jesse as a supporting role, a secondary character to Mr. Walter White. But El Camino explored more on his personality without Heisenberg’s presence, which gives Jesse’s character a much-deserved highlight. It explores how Jesse would behave now that he’s on his own and without the genius of Heisenberg. It also gives so much power to the character as it portrayed it as independent and is capable of making wise decisions.
In the end, amid some unnecessarily dragging scenes in the movie, El Camino is yet another masterpiece of Gilligan. It’s intense, evocative, and satisfying without relying on the storyline of Breaking Bad. El Camino is a story of its own.