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El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie Review

By Ian Crow

‘El Camino’ is the latest exclusive Netflix movie to hit their streaming service. It’s not your regular film to be released on their service as Netflix has a reputation for releasing sub-par movies onto their platform. ‘El Camino’ moves Netflix into another direction as they have managed to make a decent movie.  The film is the follow up to one of the greatest TV shows of all time, ‘Breaking Bad’. The project was only announced officially in August 2019, a mere two months’ before the film was released. This film has been rumoured for years since the TV show finished in 2013 and so this is a huge moment for ‘Breaking Bad’ fans, especially as they look to get closure for Aaron Paul’s character ‘Jesse Pinkman’. ‘El Camino’ picks up directly after the events of the end of the Emmy award television series. Jesse has escaped from his captors, Walter White has died and the whole partnership between Jesse and Walter is known to everyone. Jesse now has to make his next steps into the unknown, looking to find closure, whilst encountering both old friends and foes.

‘Breaking Bad’ is a flawless TV show and did what many TV shows cannot seem to achieve; closure. The show did a phenomenal job of finishing up the series on a high leaving the viewers wanting more. That’s the perfect ending to a story; the wanting and needing more. So when the trailer dropped for ‘El Camino’, I had my reservations about the project. Will they ruin the show and explain everything that happens after? Thankfully, Vince Gilligan, the creator and writer of the show and the film, delivers yet again and gives us another brilliant glimpse into the ‘Breaking Bad’ world and reminds you how fantastic the show is, but most importantly, how great Aaron Paul’s character Jesse is. Even though six years have passed, it doesn’t feel like a day since the show ended and the film feels natural in its follow up.

Whilst it would be easy to show the many familiar faces of the show in the film, Vince Gilligan expertly uses a couple of returning characters in ‘El Camino’. These characters all play an important part in Jesse’s retelling of old moments, not a single character is a throwaway, as he moves forward with his life. Gilligan manages to get the tone of the series and inject it into the film. There are moments of comedy in the film, but ‘El Camino’ has been set up to be a serious movie and delivers just that. Jesse Pinkman is the star of the film and, as ever, Aaron Paul picks up the character with ease, perfectly encapsulating Jesse’s state of mind from the start. It’s the Jesse we know and love but with a slight change to his personality, he isn’t messing around anymore. Jesse Pinkman means business.

‘El Camino’ is dark, gripping and tense; it’s a brilliant follow up to the show but would be a no go to people who haven’t seen ‘Breaking Bad’. There were a lot of references to the show, which is completely expected, but even I struggled to remember particular references and I watched the whole show. If you are a fan of the show, maybe go through a recap before watching the movie so you can truly appreciate every second of the film. It’s one of our favourites of the year and will no doubt be watching it again at some point in the future!

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