Much has been speculated about what Vince Gilligan would offer us in this return to the famous and widely loved series 'Breaking Bad', but this time, we would get it in the form of a film, which could not intrigue us more, it has been frankly one of the most awaited productions of the year. We knew that it was starring Aaron Paul in his role as Jesse Pinkman but the rest of the details have remained hidden until Netflix has premiered the two hours of 'El Camino', and it's title in Spanish is not the only thing interesting about it.
As expected, 'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' begins right where the series ends: Jesse escapes from the Nazi barracks in a Camino model car to take refuge in Skinny Pete's house (Charles Baker). Once he is enough recovered, he will begin his plan to flee, he always passes from Albuquerque, which implies money and means that he does not have within his reach... At, least, in the beginning, but you didn't expect he would give up so easily, did you?
We will better not go into much details of how he achieves it, mostly because just a few hours ago of the premiere of the film, but during the two hours of the film we find the narration, in the form of a flashback, of his captivity by the Uncle Jack's band, his dealings with the character of Jesse Plemons, and the consequences of it.
It is curious how the plot develops itself, especially in the appearances of Jesse Plemons (in his role as Todd Alquist) but also in Aaron Paul, which has been no less than six years since we last saw them. Being literally the day after, they have noticed the infallible passage of time despite the attempts to characterize it to hide it but come on, it's been nearly a decade since we last saw him.
Anecdotes aside, it is clear that the purpose is to tell the story never told of Pinkman and his desire to be free forever both literally and figuratively. It is also to address that great loose end of a series that practically tied almost everything that had to be attached throughout its little more than sixty episodes. And in this sense, it works.
What is surprising about 'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' is its lack of ambition in general. There is a story to tell and it is told. And the period. But it is slightly disappointing on how to tell it both at the plot level and at the technical level.
The direction of the film is much more conventional in its plans than the series. In fact, except in some specific sequences, this planning scene is missing from the original work.
What does respect the spirit of 'Breaking Bad' is that desire to tell things quietly, offering a trip inside our protagonist. There are moments of tension and moments of seeing the landscape. That rhythm is what absorbs us when watching the movie.
'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' is, of course, not intended for new audiences as it depends too much on the public having previously seen 'Breaking Bad'. This plays a lot against a tape that is quite far from the mastery we could expect.
Although as an epilogue of the series it follows, if we value it as an independent film it does not do so much. It remains, therefore, is a work for completists, with hardly any value for those who are not fans of 'Breaking Bad'.