Jesse Pinkman’s on the run, and he comes out strong.
Years after AMC’s “Breaking Bad” ended and the spin-off “Better Call Saul” came into effect, Netflix has released “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story,” which allows the meth dealer Jesse Pinkman to delve into his own past and present. Even if you haven’t seen the show, you’re still rooting for this character to thrive on the dangers that lurk in his path, and the result is a bold and risky film.
Before “El Camino” begins, we’re given a recap of what went down in the “Breaking Bad” series. Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) got in the meth empire with Walter White (Bryan Cranston), whose methods have pushed him to the limit, leading up to his demise, and Jesse’s escape.
Then the movie picks up where we last saw him, as Jesse is a fugitive from the law, hides out with his old buddies Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and Badger (Matt Jones), and must eliminate his getaway vehicle El Camino. That is until its LoJack has been activated, and he must flee.
All he wants is a fresh start, but first he has to find some stolen money and deal with some enemies. They would happen to be two thugs (Scott MacArthur and Scott Shepherd), who pose a cops, and were among his captors at the compound
En route, he has flashbacks of his experiences when he was caged up. Another one of his captors Todd (Jesse Plemons), the holder of the car and money, gives him some odd jobs, including helping him dispose of his cleaning lady’s carcass. And Bryan Cranston, Jonathan Banks, and Krysten Ritter also reprise their roles in other sequences. Maybe it’s just an excuse to bring them back. I don’t know, but it’s still iconic in my perspectives.
“El Camino” closes the Jesse Pinkman character with real motivation and emotional trips that leave Aaron Paul in such a remarkable state. He’s undeniable in the role he brought to television, and is able to thrive on film.
Director and creator Vince Gilligan has given it a “No Country for Old Men” and “Hell or High Water” quality by giving the main protagonist his challenges and fugitive skills, and by allowing him to reflect on his life. The main thugs are also well-acted by MacArthur and Shepherd, and Robert Forster has a brave supporting role as Ed the “disappearer,” who runs a vacuum shop to hide his identity.
Just like the “Downton Abbey” movie, this “Breaking Bad” flick keeps the characters in line without glamorizing them for star-billing and profit. In Pinkman’s case, fans are eager to know where he’s gonna go, and after they see this movie, they’ll know for sure.
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