El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie Review

On October 11, Vince Gilligan gifted fans with the epilogue-style installment to the Breaking Bad series, El Camino

Megan Lear

On October 11, Vince Gilligan gifted fans with the epilogue-style installment to the Breaking Bad series, El Camino. Featuring cameos from old favorites like Mike, Skinny Pete, Old Joe (that junkyard owner responsible for the total destruction of the iconic RV), and Walter White, El Camino pays homage to the series’ original story line without wasting time reminding viewers where it left off.

The film opens with a flashback – Mike, standing near the river where he’ll later be killed, advises Jesse Pinkman to figure out what’s best for himself, setting up the plot’s consistent theme. In a jarring cut to the present day, a bearded and scarred Pinkman is speeding away from captivity in a stolen El Camino, eventually seeking shelter with Badger and Skinny Pete. Jesse takes a much-needed shower plagued by retrospective glimpses into his torturous days in captivity, then emerges as the freshly shaven hardass fans know and love.

Following the film’s climactic neo-western shootout, Pinkman gathers enough cash to buy himself a fresh start in Alaska from vacuum salesman Ed Galbraith (portrayed by Robert Forester who passed away the day of El Camino’s premiere.) He leaves Ed with a letter to Brock, his ex-girlfriend’s son, and drives off calmly into the Alaskan wilderness.

El Camino acts as a deep-dive character study of Jesse Pinkman, post-torture. Following a series largely dealing with external conflict resolved by explosions, the Breaking Bad movie pulls out all the cinematic stops to give viewers the ultimate conflict story: Jesse Pinkman versus himself. Oh, and Gilligan gave us the pleasant but not-so-surprising Walter White feature fans were counting on. The diner scene takes place during the events of Season Two’s ‘4 Days Out’ where Walt and a young Jesse enjoy breakfast.

El Camino is a satisfactory ending to the Breaking Bad series; some fans suggest a spin-off could be written about Pinkman’s new life in Alaska, but we hope this epilogue stays just that: the end.

Megan Lear

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