El Camino

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El Camino

“Yeah science, bitch!” Specifically, chemistry, and not the type they teach you in CHEM 125. “Breaking Bad,” the five-season hit TV crime drama just got a glorious two-hour movie tying up the story of one of its best and most memorable characters, Jesse Pinkman. Although the show ended with the ideal send-off of one of TV’s most iconic characters, Walter White, it left Jesse’s ending a little ambiguous, with his final shot simply being a view of him driving off into the night in a stolen El Camino. Thankfully for fans, Netflix produced this satisfying conclusion to the series titled “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.”

Going into this movie, I was expecting a suspense-filled rocket ride as Jesse outran the police, the neo-Nazis and their meth facility turned prison camp. While this movie delivers plenty of action, throughout the film you’ll find that Jesse had many more problems to face than just his external ones. The torture he endured while imprisoned by the Nazis left him broken, and the guilt he faces over the death of his loved ones adds an extra layer of psychological stress on top of the pressure of trying to evade capture.

The movie starts off not with Jesse himself, but with his friends Badger and Skinny Pete playing a video game. This shows that while Jesse’s been fighting for his life, his friends’ lives had been pretty tame until Jesse comes knocking on their door with ragged breath and covered in scars. The first thing they talk about isn’t about how unwashed and traumatized he looks though—it’s about getting the stolen car out of the street. This is a common theme throughout the movie for Jesse: escape first, deal with what the hell just happened later. The trio quickly hide the car and see that Jesse showers and shaves, because that’s the rational thing a person who hadn’t seen a shower in six or seven months would do. But right after, they need to worry about how to keep the police looking in the wrong direction long enough for Jesse to run the other way. 

Luckily, he knew a couple of people that could help him get the job done. A nice cameo for the true “Breaking Bad” fans, Jesse calls up Junkyard Joe to help get rid of the stolen car sitting in Badger’s backyard. Although it’s not quite that easy, they eventually get the car situation sorted out and work on the bigger picture: getting Jesse’s situation sorted out. Fortunately enough, he knows a guy for that too, an acquaintance through Saul Goodman. The only caveat is that he barely knows anything about the man, only that he’s known as Ed “The Disappearer” and that for a price of $125,000 he can wipe you off the grid.

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” gives Jesse Pinkman’s story the much-needed closure it deserves. Vince Gilligan’s memorable script portrays Jesse’s profound transformation through the use of a compelling story, well-placed cameos and Aaron Paul’s performance—one of the best of his career. Above all else though, this is a compelling two-hour story that takes us back into the high-stakes world of drugs with the characters we love and have been missing for six years. 

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Christian Kielbowicz

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