El Camino Review
Starting after 2013’s Breaking Bad finale, “El Camino” was a sleeper hit released as a sort of coda to the end of the series. But, far from being a sleepy ending to a story we last heard about six years ago, this is a captivating, heartfelt story from beginning to end.
Let’s take a closer look, in today’s El Camino review.
Meth cook, Jesse Pinkman, transformed by his time as Walter White’s hapless business partner, has become a hardened escapee. A slave who was liberated from literal shackles, El Camino is the story of one of the most compelling characters in the original series.
But don’t come to this party expecting more bags of blue meth and one-sided fistfights with gagnbanger stereotypes. Jesse has become something more in his time off our screens. Part of that is obviously the character’s literal emergence from the depths of the New Mexico desert. A literal rebirth, if you will, covered in face scars and dripping with post-traumatic stress. Even his last name, “Pinkman”, implies a brand new person.
Of course, Paul, now 40 years old, is the other part of this movie’s success. The actor devours the scenery in ways he may not have had in him during the original series. It’s an absolute treat to watch him glare and cowboy his way around Albuquerque as he tries to make a new life for himself.
Gilligan is generous enough to provide plenty of fan service despite all of the pain he inflicts on Jesse. Walt and his protege once again menace around dark corners. Mike is a grouch, and our old friend “the disappearer” makes an appearance as well. I won’t bother to let you know who features as a flashback and who doesn’t.
The film is merciless with Jesse’s story. His character really shines as he finds himself in situations that reveal his own anger, sadness, and bitterness. He’s a character full of new understanding of the world around him, and a clearer purpose devoid of all his addiction sadness. Jesse Pinkman has arrived in El Camino.
In short, this is a great movie. It’s not great for everyone but this is a perfect ending to a story that maintained one thing all along: that it was serious. That it wasn’t just about drugs and guns and swearing and everyone hating Skye for some reason. This is a thinking man’s story that proves Breaking Bad was a thinking man’s story.
As far as this El Camino review goes, I couldn’t have been happier. Could you? Let me know in the comments.