El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie ★★★

It felt more like a fun continuation than a necessary epilogue to the fantastic TV series, but it was admittedly great to see Aaron Paul back to his Jesse Pinkman best. There’s a lot of really well crafted sequences soaked in mystery and tension; for a feature debut it’s a pretty impressive showing from show creator Vince Gilligan. We see just how difficult it was for Jesse after his escape, and you feel all of his frustration and desperation thanks to a brilliantly understated performance from Paul. All of the other returning cast members are solid in their roles too (although some felt more forced than others). 

We also get to see some flashbacks to Jesse’s time as a prisoner, which although interesting, don’t really add much interesting character development, at least in my opinion. They serve to explain the modern day plot more than anything, and save for one very good scene out in the desert with Jesse Plemons, don’t tell you anything you couldn’t have already guessed about his captivity. ‘It was bad’ is basically the overarching message. I wish it had spent more time focusing on Jesse’s mental state, possible PTSD, how he adapts to the world - it’s all there in parts, but the film focuses more on just telling the plot over how Jesse actually comes to terms with what happened to him. When you follow on from a TV show that had hours to do that, you can inadvertently suffer as a result. I also think it muddled the whole ‘Jesse being a killer’ storyline a bit much for my liking, feeling inconsistent with what we’d seen previously. All that said, considering my expectations were set pretty low, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a follow up that does justice to the original - that can’t always be said.

Euan liked this review