Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie"

This image released by Netflix shows Aaron Paul in a scene from “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.” The film, a continuation of the “Breaking Bad” series that concluded on AMC in 2013, is on Netflix.

By Jason Guyer

It has been six years (roughly) since the finale of “Breaking Bad,” and fans have been clamoring for more ever since.

Personally, I was never one of them. I thought the series ended nicely and that is not always the case when it comes to television shows.

Just ask “Game of Thrones” fans.

However, there was one character in “Breaking Bad” who could carry a film that extended the “Breaking Bad” universe.

Jesse Pinkman, the character left standing.

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (played by three-time Emmy-winner Aaron Paul) and picks up right were the show left off, in the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity.

Now Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.

This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of “Breaking Bad”; and the majority of the cast, not just Pinkman, are familiar with “Breaking Bad” fans.

Jesse Pinkman steals the proverbial show though and is the main character of “El Camino.”

Aaron Paul reprises his role as Jesse Pinkman and it is as if he never left.

This makes “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” easy to watch and enough for the audience to fall back into the “Breaking Bad” universe.

Paul is iconic as Jesse Pinkman, very few would dispute this, and deservingly so.

Anything Paul and the Pinkman character do in “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” does nothing to change this.

If anything “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” is Jesse Pinkman doing Jesse Pinkman things.

This leads to what “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” really is: fanservice.

Vince Gilligan ended “Breaking Bad” perfectly, so what do you do with “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie?”

You pay fanservice, and you do so while generating a good “Breaking Bad” style story.

Gilligan hits that bar and then some. Just don’t expect more out of “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.”

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” feels like a made-for-TV movie. It does not feel like a film or some cinema masterpiece.

To be honest, the entirety of “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” feels like an extended “Breaking Bad” episode. “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” offers the same style storytelling and pacing as any “Breaking Bad” episode before it.

As if we waited six years for the “Breaking Bad” finale.

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” extends Pinkman’s story but never adds anything to it and mostly just fills in the blanks.

The enjoyment of “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” may come down to what version you like better: the open ended version or you like to have stories laid out in entirety.

The only downside is “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” never really shows true character growth from Jesse Pinkman.

In “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” Pinkman is still the character struggling between not wanting to do bad things to doing them anyway because the ends justify the means.

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” leaves the audience in a familiar place with Pinkman and feeling the same way about him.

The idea was never change anyone’s feeling on “Breaking Bad” but to bring fans back to that universe and to put a bow on “Breaking Bad.”

This is what “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”is as a film. The bow on the gift that was “Breaking Bad.”

This is why the fanservice is the best part of “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.”

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” brings back a number of important characters from “Breaking Bad.”

Some in these futures events and some as flashbacks.

No matter which type you get, all tie ins play out quite beautifully in the story “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” is trying to tell.

Skinny Pete and Badger for example are and will always be fan favorites and seeing them again in “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” is one of the best aspects of the film.

There are more characters like Skinny Pete and Badger who come back but most won’t have the same panache these two do.

Jesse Plemons back as Todd certainly does not.

There are two cameos that are much bigger and one of those cameos turns out to be one of the best scenes in “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” the end.

There is nothing like contemplating the universe.

The realization of this one universal contemplation put on Pinkman is profound and fitting to the character. Jesse Pinkman is a character whose life is the epitome of where the universe takes you, whether by choice or reluctantly but most likely a little of both.

Same goes for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.” The film takes Pinkman and the audience where they want to go.

The only reluctance to go there though is that this may finally be the end of Jesse Pinkman and his run in the “Breaking Bad” universe.

Then again, it may not be. Fanservice carries a lot of weight nowadays.


Jason Guyer is an avid moviegoer and works in the graphics department at the Eagle Times. For questions or comments he can be emailed at guyerj@eagletimes.com

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