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‘El Camino’ is an underwhelming sequel

‘El Camino’ is an underwhelming sequel

‘El Camino’ is an underwhelming sequel
October 17
08:54 2019

Warning: spoilers ahead

I had a mixed feeling when the “Breaking Bad” sequel “El Camino” was first announced. I was content with having a fantasy of what happened to Jesse Pinkman after “Breaking Bad” ended with a nice, happy ending for him and possible survival of Walter White. A theory that has changed, obviously.

The action starts with Jesse in a Chevrolet El Camino, seeking refuge with his friends, Badger and Skinny Pete. The two tend to him in a comical, loving way which did a good job of showing their bond and the lengths they’re willing to go to help Jesse.

Jesse’s fear and trauma are showcased well and are never forgotten or pushed to the side. The pained look in Jesse’s eyes was agonizing, to say the least. He’s a broken man, and him keeping his gun with him even in the shower of his friend’s house is very telling. A heartbreaking scene from this sequence is when Jesse shakily stares at himself in the mirror during his shower, while the morning light accentuates the gashes on his back.

The film jumps back and forth between the present and the past, these flashback scenes give you a deeper glimpse of his trauma.

Todd Alquist was dull and I quickly lost interest whenever he was on screen. Todd going on an unnecessarily long tangent about the weather with Jesse down in his cage was boring, awkward and shows how slow and dragged out the movie could be.

As a fan of “Breaking Bad,” it was a shock to casually hear about Walter dying on a Tuesday night on the radio. However, Jesse seems on edge when he hears the news, and you feel transported and frozen in that car with him.

Jesse is referred to as “kid” and “teenaged” throughout the film, but when you look at his matured face it takes you out of the fantasy a bit. He’s older, distinctly different and very beaten up.

The colors of each shot of the film really tie everything together. Neutral browns, grays and blacks add to the eerie and urgent feel the movie has, such as the contrasts demonstrated in the different apartment scenes.

We also get a glimpse of the relationship between Walter and Jesse. There was a familiar scene with the duo eating – Walt trying to give him advice and Jesse being defensive. Walt’s appearance in the film did feel a bit unnecessary, but it was a good fanservice moment.

You don’t have to go back and binge-watch the show to watch the movie – it holds up on its own. However, the movie falls flat. The two hours felt long, some scenes felt unnecessary and didn’t add anything for me. I would’ve preferred if the movie were shorter.

“El Camino” proved that Jesse didn’t need Walt to survive and can stand up on his own, although he fumbled in usual Jesse-like fashion, he still managed to get what he wanted.

Additionally, Aaron Paul’s performance of the character truly shines and makes up for the lackluster plot. I’m glad I was able to see him move to Alaska and get the fresh start he deserved. Seeing Jesse drive off in the Alaska snow was satisfying. I was only left wondering if his past would eventually catch up to him in Alaska.

Another highlight for me was the appearance of Jesse’s old romantic flame. Her change in philosophy about the world showed the change in Jesse’s view as well. Aaron Paul dressed in that season 2 outfit so many years later made me chuckle.

“El Camino” was enjoyable and simultaneously dull. Comical at times, and at others chilling. There wasn’t anything significant aside from Jesse being reunited with Badger and Skinny Pete, the confirmation of Walt’s death and his mental image of Jane on his drive through Alaska.

But in the end, the film gave Jesse the spotlight he always deserved.

My rating: 3.5/5

Featured Image: Courtesy El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie IMDb

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Natalie Thomas

Natalie Thomas

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