Release Date: October 11, 2019 (streaming exclusively on Netflix)
Director: Vince Gilligan
Cast: Aaron Paul, Matt Jones, Charles Baker
Synopsis: Jesse Pinkman, a man broken and bruised from cruel imprisonment, escapes from the clutches of Jack and his gang of ruthless white supremacists onto a journey in search for answers and hope for freedom.
[The following is a spoiler-free review]
I kept pondering an appropriate analogy to El Camino when the time came for me to process it. I was slightly late to the phenomenon that was Breaking Bad during its series run from 2007 to 2013. My brothers were avid fans and regular watchers before I dove in, and their consistent enthusiasm and heeding to give the show a watch finally got me to cave in. What captivated my attention in a short amount of time became a desire to watch more as Breaking Bad continued to pull me in episode after episode until the very end. Fast forward six years later, we have the answer to what happened to Jesse Pinkman in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
Aaron Paul seamlessly picks up the character of Jesse without missing a beat, and supporting turns from others in tow add a welcome dose of humanity and depth to an already stacked roster of memorable characters. For those unfamiliar with the story thus far, and the many characters throughout, the full impact of the narrative will most likely raise further questions than answers; in that regard, El Camino suffers just slightly from not being readily accessible to the freshest of eyes and ears. Then again, El Camino remains to please those who have ventured the journey thus far with several surprises in store.
As previously mentioned, an analogy finally came to mind with consideration to a phenomenon otherwise known as one coming across “the bonus fry.” Humor me this, and imagine for a moment finding at the bottom of a fast food bag the last fry. It catches you by surprise, and considering the initial thought of there being none left, you anticipate its consumption well aware where it came from, and hoping it tastes just as good, if not better. You notice the way it bends and breaks into your mouth, familiar in its form and texture, and seasoned well enough to compliment the others prior. It may not be the best fry out of the entire batch, but it satiates your palate, reminding you of what you enjoyed before. Summed up, El Camino is that kind of bonus fry.
At times slow and stalled in its course, El Camino serves as the reflective bookend to an incredible series. I imagine in the quiet moments of time passing by, creator Vince Gilligan could not resist pondering the fate of that lone man rising from the ashes in search for freedom and new life. Like an itch that could not be ignored, scratched to satisfaction, Gilligan has provided a newfound release of relief to one of his most beloved creations.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is rated TV-MA with viewer discretion advised.