I don’t think it’s wrong to say “Breaking Bad” is a masterpiece show. It’s a show where you try to anticipate how an event will come. This show is brilliant in all aspects. People talk about this show, people like it, people discuss their favorite episodes, and so on. It’s one of those shows that redefined television. Sure, before this show, there were “The Sopranos” and “The Wire”. If you want to step back again, there was “The Twilight Zone”. But, “Breaking Bad” is one of the shows that makes people love television.
I ended up watching “Breaking Bad” nine months ago and it was my first experience watching this masterpiece. Yeah, I’m a bit sorry because I just found out this series a few months ago. However, I tried to attract many fans of the series to my friends. After six years, Vince Gilligan announced that he would make the Breaking Bad movie. It’s a movie that becomes the epilogue of the story. It makes Jesse Pinkman as the center of the character. This is the final long-lost farewell. They say goodbye to the people who enjoy the show is still there today.
Simply put, this is a sequel to the final episode of the show, “Felina”. It starts with Jesse, after surviving in the final sequence of the show, trying to escape from the police pursuit. The story of this movie not far away focused on Jesse Pinkman who tried to escape. He makes a real identity later out of New Mexico. The opening sequence starts with an old character. You might feel familiar. Even so, the entire movie is full of old characters in the show. I can’t say that it feels like fan service. But one moment gave me a chill when one character appeared on the screen.
For two hours, the main point of the movie was giving justice to our goat, Jesse. He just wanted to escape to Alaska. There was no other place. He tried to change his identity. It’s more like a movie about a fugitive like “North by Northwest”. Still, you feel that modern sense of the movie. Jesse is now in a comfort zone after Skinny Pete and Badger save him. He is struggling to fight if he is innocent. But also, he has to face himself who has PTSD. He is like the good guy criminal who doesn’t want to kill his enemies. On the other hand, his enemies forced him to commit the act.
“El Camino” has a lot of cameos. If you ask if there is Walt in this film, I don’t want to answer that. You have to watch the movie to answer your question. The movie didn’t feel like fan service to fans. Gilligan doesn’t use a cheap trick where you feel nostalgic because you grew up with these characters. I always call this trick as intertextuality where nostalgia becomes the main weapon. However, the cameos feel relevant to the actual situation and Jesse’s feelings. It doesn’t feel like a distraction to them.
Speaking of cameos, there are some distracted actors because of their physical appearance. Maybe because there isn’t enough space or time to re-create their physic just like the final episode. It might also seem strange if Gilligan followed the trick in “Gemini Man”, the new Will Smith movie. Speaking of the director, the movie has a trademark of the creator as the writer of this film. The time-lapse, the point of view shot, and the beautiful landscape of New Mexico. You still got the Sergio Leone extreme close up shot. Gilligan provides an adequate composition into this film as well as the show.
The performance in this film is phenomenal especially since this is a special stage for Aaron Paul. He shows a psychological character with so much thought in his mind. When he is in a corner of space, he must quickly make choices and actions. It feels like what you expect just like Walter White. Moreover, they have the same aura. He went through a lot of bad things that happened to his psychology and the people around him. This movie gives us enough background and the aftermath of what Jesse should do. And if it’s not Paul, who would?
This is a two-hour and a slow-burning movie. Just like “Breaking Bad”, the entire sequence from beginning to end gives us enough pay-offs. Especially, the face to face sequence in the ending is amazing. The build-up and the suspense work very well. There isn’t much action. I mean, this is “Breaking Bad” and this isn’t an action show. Yet, the name of this film also reminds me of all the spin-offs of Disney’s Star Wars. In the future, maybe you will get unnecessary spin-off films. There would be a spin-off for Huell, a spin-off for Skyler, a spin-off for Walt. Jr., and a spin-off for everyone. I don’t want to expect that.
I originally thought that this movie would become another cash-grab movie or pointless sequel to the show. But, it’s not pointless at all, a bit. Indeed, the ending of “Breaking Bad” gives us plenty of room to imagine. And I prefer how Gilligan leaves us with the sequence. However, this movie is never in the fan service circumstance. “El Camino” is a nice thematic parallel universe to the show. It’s a movie that gives Jesse enough moments so we can see how he is free.
4 out of 5 stars.