Review: El Camino – Slow Build To A Proper Ending

The last time we saw Jesse Pinkman, he was speeding away in an El Camino, screaming his heart out, after Walter White gave his life to set him free. It was powerful, it was terrific, but it wasn’t enough for the fans.

El Camino, an interesting title for the film as we only see the vehicle for a handful of scenes throughout the first and second part of the movie, picks up right where the series left off with Jesse narrowly avoiding the police and FBI. He spends the rest of the Netflix Feature, easily avoiding the police as he creates a plan to get out of the country.

It typical Breaking Bad storytelling fashion; the smallest problems always derail the biggest plans. People pretending to be police, Jesse being shy of the total amount of money he needs to escape, one exceptionally dull, nosey, and annoying neighbor. It’s all the little things that seem to slow him and, unfortunately, the movie down.

The film is filled with little Easter Eggs, including cameos from some of the minor series characters to Walter White himself, the majority of whom almost serve no purpose other than being in the film because it’s in the Breaking Bad world.

Every tense situation that Jesse manages to stumble into throughout the film has an answer with flashbacks. All of which happens between the final episodes of the series, most of which involved Louis Corbett.

The ending of the movie does wrap everything up in a nice little bow, but it’s wrapped the same way the series was wrapped. Jesse is driving away. The only difference is that he’s free, he’s smiling, and he’s found some semblance of peace. The film ends with a cute cameo from Krysten Ritter (Jane) as the two discuss going wherever the universe takes them and how they should make those decisions for themselves. A poetic way to end Jesse’s story as he has a new identity, a duffle bag full of cash, a car, and an open road before him.

It’s been six years since the series ended, and as much as I enjoyed this movie, it felt like I was watching an extended episode or a handful of deleted scenes that I chopped together to create this “Netflix Event.” I’m not saying the movie is bad, but it is slow, as Aaron Paul spends a decent portion of the film standing around.

To my surprise, the flashbacks do push the plot along, and are essential to every scene they pop in. We do get to see some action as Jesse gets into a firefight and with no hesitation, kills two men, a far cry from the episode where he had to kill David Costabile’s character.

In the end, this movie is exactly what it is: an answer to the six-year question, “What happened to Jesse Pinkman?” However, having said that, the fans could ask that question once more. “What happens to Jesse Pinkman after El Camino ends?”

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