El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie – Film Review

I never thought Breaking Bad needed a movie spin-off/epilogue, I liked how the series ended, but I got caught up in the hype for El Camino as much as every other fan. But my gut instinct was right all along – El Camino is totally unnecessary.

*SPOILERS*

The action kicks off literally where the series ended in 2013, with Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) speeding away from the scene of a mass shooting while Walter White (Bryan Cranston) laid there dying. El Camino basically just shows us what happens next to Jesse, who is now on the run from the police as they consider him a suspect.

That’s it. The plot is very weak and could have easily filled a usual TV episode but is stretched out to feature-length by a lot of flashbacks, particularly ones giving us more detail about Jesse’s time held captive by Todd (Jesse Plemons) and his neo-Nazi group. I love Plemons as an actor but there was too much of him and their flashbacks were so long that they killed the pace of the present, which I kept wanting them to get back to.

However, the flashbacks did allow for some lovely cameos from Cranston and Krysten Ritter, who played Jesse’s late girlfriend Jane. They were totally unnecessary, didn’t really add anything to the action in the present and they were so obviously pandering to the fans but I loved them. It was nice to be reunited with those familiar faces again.

Except for its length, I felt like I was just watching another episode of the show with El Camino. It was great to catch up with Jesse and see old favourites like Badger (Matt Jones), Skinny Pete (Charles Baker), Mike (Jonathan Banks) and Ed (Robert Forster, RIP). Paul gives a good performance and there were a couple of exciting scenes and cool flashbacks but it was ultimately disappointing. The story wasn’t strong enough and lacked any real substance. It was a nice send-off for Jesse and provided fans with closure but it was a completely unnecessary and pointless exercise.

Streaming on Netflix now 

Rating: 2/5

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