“El Camino” (2019) Movie Review

Dir: Vince Gilligan. Starring: Aaron Paul, Matt Jones, Charles Baker. Color. TV-MA. 122 min.
Have you heard of that TV show “Breaking Bad”? Yes I thought so, let’s move on. Creator Vince Gilligan had arguably the best wrap up to a show ever during the season 5 finale in 2013. Apparently the story wasn’t done yet. The gang got back together for a Netflix movie called “El Camino”. The story of Jesse Pinkman escaping his white supremacist kidnappers after anti-hero legend Walter White freed him. While obviously a cash cow for all involved, turns out “El Camino” isn’t half-bad.
We center around the Pinkman character (Aaron Paul). To put it modestly the young man is damaged for life. The Neo-natzi group that put him through unbelievable physical and mental torture in order to cook meth that sells for millions will do a real number on anyone. All the while a picture of the kid he cares about hangs after they’ve already killed the girl he loved right before his eyes. Watch the show.
Finally free, Jesse is disoriented having spent a who knows exactly amount of time in a cage. He is battered, scarred and bruised. Jesse reaches out to the only friends he has left, his former drug dealer partners Badger and Skinny Pete. They help him get back on his feet while the entire law enforcement of New Mexico is trying to hunt him down.
Once he has time to get his bearings, Pinkman is after the money necessary to disappear with the same erasing life guy White used years earlier Ed (Robert Forester, melancholy as always). Short on the dough, Jesse is forced to scramble his way towards what he hopes will be a new beginning. As you can expect, things do not go according to plan.
The upside to “El Camino” is that, and yes it is “Breaking Bad” nostalgia, the film looks at that world from a different perspective. Instead of being centered around someone who has to control everything around them it is about a person that cannot control themselves and simply hopes to find freedom because peace is not an option. Several flashback sequences, including a body being disposed of and a torture by wire attachment are top notch.
The downside to “El Camino”, it’s lazy. The climactic “cowboy” shootout makes absolutely zero sense. This newish crew of bad guys, as cruel and methodical as they act, are complete idiots to the point of teenagers in a slasher movie stuff. The Cinematography by Marshall Adams is also meh. Stock footage of Albuquerque traffic and time lapse footage followed up with, well basically nothing special other than classic character cameos.
Overall “El Camino” is still worth a watch, especially for die hard “Breaking Bad” fans. There are some very well done stretches that Aaron Paul absolutely carries because Jesse Pinkman is and will always be his character. But as a stand alone piece, it is a step above just passable.
Suck Factor: 3 out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!

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