After watching perhaps the greatest television show in history end in 2013, Vince Gilligan has finally delivered another chapter. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is everything fans of the series could have hoped. It connects on the thrilling and dark aspects that made the show such a hit. The difference this time though is it brings a story line so unknown it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout despite feeling like you have seen this movie before.
Diving deeper into the movie and this features a lot of cameos that are perfectly placed and give you instant flashbacks. The movie does a perfect job of integrating those characters. It also does well giving you added scenes from the show for a point of reference. It also doesn’t lean too much on being “Breaking Bad” which is a huge plus. This movie does well to add pieces to connect the two, but avoid being tied together completely.
The movie starts with Mike, Badger, Skinny Pete, and Old Joe from the junkyard all joining in almost immediately. A really strong start to get you in the right frame of mind. But it also doesn’t let any one flashback or character linger. The most used character, Todd, is used for the purpose of showing Jesse’s time in capture, but not a second more than needed. The main characters who don’t appear are Gus, Saul, Walt’s family or Hank and Marie. Brock is also referenced, but isn’t shown. They do however show Walter White and Jane very briefly. Both are really strong signals that this is about Jesse, and no one else. Gilligan gives you the emotional tie to them, but doesn’t use them as a crutch to advance the story or characters.
Most importantly though, the story line is excellent. Nothing feels forced or out of place. The movie does a great job to keep Jesse as the moral compass so to speak. The reason that is important is because it allows us to keep rooting for him, while also feeling the compassion and sorrow we had through the last half of the series.
As with Breaking Bad, this movie is an incredible performance by Aaron Paul. Paul is clearly born for this role and his character didn’t miss a beat. Watching him you feel a constant changing of emotions like you are actually on this ride with him. Paul keeps you engaged and glued to the screen throughout.
Moreover, Paul’s stellar performance is paired with stunningly beautiful camera shots emphasizing certain moods and guiding the audience’s feelings. One incredible shot for example is when Jesse comes out of the darkness from behind the rolled up rug with his gun held up. This shows that Jesse is coming out of darkness and finally stepping back into the light. There are plenty of examples, but it just shows how meticulous Gilligan’s attention to detail is and why he is a fabulous director.
Overall this movie is an absolute treasure, giving the audience everything they could have hoped for and then some. The movie delivers some of the famed characters from the show, while not feeling like they are being forced in our face just to tie the tv show into the movie. Paul and Gilligan once again prove that they are a dynamic force when paired together. Anyone worried this movie would taint the sterling reputation of an all-time television show can breathe easy. The movie has only enhanced it and produced a thrilling masterpiece that should be enjoyed by all.