Evan Ambrose’s review published on Letterboxd:
In 2008, a gifted screenwriter named Vince Gilligan—a 40-year-old virtuoso from Richmond, Virginia who merely nobody had even heard of unless you were a hardcore X-Files fan—initiated a series that many would consider to be the best in all of television history. This program—which we referred to as Breaking Bad—I still constantly declare, since the day I witnessed that last 62nd episode in the year of 2014—to which most saw it in 2013—as the most flawless piece of drama IN ANY ARTFORM ever made. It was a superhuman phenomenon—in all 62 hours of its runtime—that never seized to run out of ideas, always committed to its audacious, shrewd thriller elements, and not once felt doubtful when it came to its uncommon realism. It truly is #1 in the lore of storytelling if anything, on any account, deserved the spot. Move over Shakespeare.
El Camino, a feature-length follow-up set immediately after the events of Breaking Bad’s final episode, is an incident that was never supposed to commence. However, it did; with fans dying to know what happened to Albuquerque’s iconic, bitch-swearing, meth-cooking but empathetically comprehensible anti-villain Jesse Pinkman, it seemed unavoidable. So here we are, fans crossing their fingers harder than when Jussie Smollett crossed his when he was praying for people to buy his rudimentary assault story, hoping and wishing that El Camino would continue respectfully off an objectively perfect conclusion to the Walter White tale.
But some folks are absolutely right, this is the Jesse Pinkman conclusion, not the already unblemished Heisenberg conclusion, and Vince Gilligan has made this statement so crystal clear by putting our beloved Pinkman as the motion picture’s main star. El Camino is not figuratively Breaking Bad’s next chapter. The film isn’t strictly focused on just how Jesse got out or didn’t get out of such a catastrophic situation, but who and what made Jesse no longer that same Jesse we saw in Breaking Bad’s opening season. It’s a character study on somebody so broke, so tormented by a year-long protocol of physical and mental abuse, that his morality has essentially become completely hijacked. His shoulds and shouldn’ts have transformed into blurrier lines than ever, further polluting his placement in a dire situation like being hunted by hundreds of Albuquerque police officers and CIA agents. His submissive practices of when he was a prisoner are severe and serve no other purpose but to make this next challenge of his an internal conflict in hell.
This combination of flashbacks and present anecdotes is what truly made El Camino a double-perspective excursion worth watching—even if its results are charitably made solely for fans rather than for those wanting to see a mind-blowing, stand-alone movie.