“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” Movie Review

Story posted October 15, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment by Connor Trask.

Fair warning, this review will have spoilers to the original series “Breaking Bad.” It is a continuation of where the show left off.

Fans patiently waited six years, with “Better Call Saul” being the only other release from Vince Gilligan relating to the other show. “Better Call Saul” takes place in a time before the “Breaking Bad” timeline and focuses on the life of lawyer Saul Goodman. It has been renewed for a fifth season, premiering in 2020.

“El Camino” takes place in the direct aftermath of the “Breaking Bad” finale and focuses on the life of Jesse Pinkman. The movie was once again directed by Vince Gilligan as a Netflix special. Pinkman is played by Aaron Paul once again, while many other familiar faces are also brought back for the sequel.

The movie opens directly where the finale left off, with a broken and distressed Jesse screaming in both anguish and excitement as he makes his getaway from enslavement. As the movie begins, Jesse reunites with his old friends Skinny Pete and Badger. The plot begins as the three are faced with a problem shortly after the reunion, that is getting rid of the stolen El Camino escape car that is being tracked.

During the award-winning five seasons of the original “Breaking Bad,” Jesse’s character went through a rapid transformation as their meth empire grew. At first, he was an innocent yet troubled burnout, who spent his time getting high and playing video games. When he met Walt, he became a criminal who hardened overtime, as the crime and the payouts increased. The audience was also shown an emotional and sympathetic side of Jesse before the ultimate meltdown we see in the series finale, as a tortured Jesse speeds off.

“El Camino” plays off of the character arch that audiences followed during “Breaking Bad,” while continuing the storyline of Jesse Pinkman. Prior to the “El Camino” movie, fans were basically left to guess what fate Jesse would meet.

The plotline not only continues the story of Pinkman, but gives fans of the series some closure to the finale. Season five of “Breaking Bad” left some unfinished business, and some loose ends to be tied. “El Camino” provides fans with some answers, answers to questions that have been unanswered for years.

Some fans, however, were not satisfied with the endings provided from “El Camino.” There has been a consensus that the film was long, dry, and ultimately unnecessary. Many fans re-watched the “Breaking Bad” series in its entirety in preparation for the film, but were left disappointed when watching the film. There is an argument that the film might just be anticlimactic.

What “El Camino” does provide is the same breathtaking camera work that made “Breaking Bad” such a huge hit. Despite being labeled as a disappointment by some, the film received favorable ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. Superfan or not, “El Camino” must be watched in its entirety before judgement is passed.

Rating: 3/5



Connor Trask is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email cst5140@psu.edu.