El Camino is a crime thriller film released in 2019 that is part of the Breaking Bad universe. It is set as a sequel and epilogue for the series finale of the critically acclaimed TV show Breaking Bad. Written, directed, and produced by series creator Vince Gilligan, El Camino follows Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) as he deals with the trauma of his captivity and torture, while simultaneously trying to get a fresh start in Alaska.
As far as sequels go, El Camino really delivers on all fronts. Vince Gilligan returns with stellar writing all around to create a rather grounded crime thriller. If one thinks about it, there isn’t much going on. Pinkman simply has to go from Point A (collecting money) to Point B (buying a fresh start). However, for the people who have seen Breaking Bad, the charm lies in the details.
On its own, El Camino is just…there. However, as part of a broader universe, it allows its viewers to see genuine growth in its characters. Pinkman’s experiences have made him a tougher and smarter person, and we slowly see him become more like his late mentor, Mike. Similarly, El Camino lets us see Badger and Skinny Pete one last time. These are people that Pinkman has been with since Season 1 of Breaking Bad, and the touching moments they share in what is essentially a final goodbye brings tears to the eyes of dedicated fans.
Writing and continuity aside, El Camino is simply a well-crafted movie. Marshall Adams’ cinematography is breathtakingly stunning and adds new life to the dull and familiar New Mexico we see in Breaking Bad. The sound design is equally great and really takes the tension in key scenes up a notch, which is just what you want from a crime thriller. If you’ve seen and liked Breaking Bad, El Camino is a movie you’ll definitely enjoy.