El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie ★★★★

ADDED TO "2019 RANKED" :) 

Instantly recaptures the tonal balance and tight formal craftsmanship of Breaking Bad (which is great) while executing those qualities with the more modern and mature demeanour of Better Call Saul (which is as close to perfect as TV can get). El Camino isn’t the big finale some fans built it up to be, but we already got our big finale six years ago. Vince Gilligan’s feature is an epilogue, primarily existing to offer some form of emotional and circumstantial closure to a character who never quite got it. Like Saul, it’s a follow-up uninterested in dazzling its audience with boisterous fan service and explosive action, focusing instead on intimate character details and a realistic sense of pace that provides an elevating grittiness (the main plot is small-scale but full of believable complication, akin to Breaking Bad’s first season), even if it alienates less-patient sections of the fanbase. And yet for all the welcome humility, Gilligan and co. still find plenty of room to show off their riveting formal skill, from the impressively cinematic visuals to the razor-sharp editing, which slickly interweaves past and present while providing a constant sense of forward-momentum (loved the cut from someone blowing dirt off a key to its door unlocking). It’s one of the better-crafted movies released this year — on scripting, technical and performance levels (Aaron Paul is as great as he’s ever been) — and an unsurprisingly strong addition to an all-time-great media franchise. 8.5/10 

Breaking Bad: 9/10 
Better Call Saul: 10/10 

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