El Camino review - A riveting send-off to Breaking Bad

El Camino review - A riveting send-off to Breaking Bad

When AMC's Breaking Bad, one of the best and most popular crime series in recent times ended, it left me wondering what would happen to the characters of Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and Saul Goodman. One wondered what would it be like to take these characters and put them in a different world and see how things pan out. One couldn't have been more excited when Better Call Saul, a show exclusively on the rise of Saul Goodman was announced, and the excitement only grew in leaps and bounds when El Camino, a film on Jesse Pinkman was commissioned. The new Netflix film, from the original creator of Breaking Bad, is the best send-off the show needed, and nobody else could've made it as riveting as Vince Gilligan. El Camino gives audiences one last opportunity to root for Jesse Pinkman, the most underrated character from Breaking Bad, and it follows him seconds after he was last seen in the show. The film follows Pinkman as he tries to flee from authorities trying to chase him down and it traces back to memories Pinkman can't outrun. It's as though Gilligan wanted to give Pinkman a shot at redemption, and El Camino works as a moody extension of the aftermath of the events that unfolded in Breaking Bad. The film works more effectively as an introspection on Pinkman and the ghosts of his past. Even if you've not watched Breaking Bad (it's a shame if you haven't), El Camino still work as a standalone film on a character that has more to offer than you can imagine, and Gilligan's nod to Breaking Bad in strokes is quite evident at important junctures. When we meet Pinkman and come to terms with his fears, we realize that he has nothing to lose, and yet, you see him finding reasons to live. While it looks like Pinkman is actually running away from the actions of his past, pay close attention and you'll know he's actually trying to overcome a series of obstacles. There are moments of happiness that Pinkman enjoys, but it's relative and there's nothing he can do about it. Gilligan does bring back some memorable characters from the show and he uses Mexico as effectively as he did the last time. But this is Aaron Paul's show all the way, and it's rewarding to see him finally get some due for his character which was and will always remain a pivotal part of the Breaking Bad world. Paul is terrific in a role that makes him look both vulnerable and lonely. Even when you take out the Breaking Bad connection, the film stands on its own, and that's probably it's biggest achievement. Rating: 3.5/5



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