El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is the ideal final chapter to the Breaking Bad series

Vince Gilligan teamed up with Netflix to present the perfect final chapter of the Breaking Bad story, with Aaron Paul returning as Jesse Pinkman in an award-worthy performance.



El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

Austin J. Yerington, Arts Reporter

~This article may include aspects of the film that contain spoilers.~

I, like most fans of Breaking Bad, remember the series’ nearly perfect final episode. However, the only aspect that was left unchecked in this airing was the final chapter of one of the series’ main characters, Jesse Pinkman, played by actor Aaron Paul.

Now, more than six years later, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan brought the long-anticipated epilogue to Netflix. A six-year-long break between the show and movie made it seem impossible to make a successful film of such a beloved series, but like the series itself, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is Heisenberg-level in quality.

The film begins just where the show left off: Pinkman, speeding and screaming in a Chevrolet El Camino after being liberated from his captors, rescued by longtime partner Walter White. The story for this film builds as Pinkman gathers what he needs to escape from the law. Pinkman has flashbacks of his past, bringing characters who were long dead back into the plot for new scenes, while also showing what happened during his imprisonment.

Pinkman struggles with traumatic experiences stemmed from being held hostage by Todd Alquist’s neo-Nazi family, leaving him to experience many post-traumatic stress episodes.

The best spoiler-free summary I can give for the plot is described as this: Pinkman is trying to avoid the law long enough to get what he needs to make a clean escape.

Running at two hours and two minutes, the film contains aspects of the series that fans loved all along, while also bringing the benefits of 4K cameras and Dolby Vision. This movie is gorgeously filmed, with panoramic shots of both the New Mexico desert and classic time-lapsed scenes, making viewers feel right at home in the Breaking Bad world they knew before.

Gilligan directed this film, much like he did with many episodes of the series. The camera is used as creatively as it was in the past, making some of the most memorable shots in the film.

There’s one scene in particular that sticks with me, where Pinkman searches a house for something that is hidden inside, but what makes this search so memorable is the way the film takes a bird’s-eye view of the home, making it look like a blueprint.

The film tells a personal story for Pinkman, who must come to terms with not just his own actions, but the long-lasting repercussions of his participation with the Heisenberg Meth Business.

The way this film plays with time is something that makes its two-hour run almost feel longer and fuller, without ever feeling overwhelming or dragged out. After watching this film, I felt transported back in time, almost expecting to see the AMC credits announcing “Coming Up on Breaking Bad.”

This film references both scenes and staging that call back to memory the earliest episodes of the series, making it a treasure trove for longtime Breaking Bad fans for both their first watch and future rewatches.

The show also returns with the dark humor that is prevalent throughout the past series. Tension is broken in the humorous or awkward actions of the characters in the eerie silence after something horrific just happened on-screen.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is something that I find real beauty in. As a fan of the series since it started in 2008, this felt like a gift. This film could have never been made and I still would have loved the series. But after watching this film, I have found an entirely new admiration for the creators, writers, crew, and actors of this story.