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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

‘El Camino’ ties up loose ends stylishly

October 16, 2019 | Gunner Young | campus editor
Photo Courtesy Ben Rothstein/Netflix. Jesse Pinkman’s tale comes to an end in “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” which debuted on Netflix and select theaters Oct. 11.
Photo Courtesy Ben Rothstein/Netflix. Jesse Pinkman’s tale comes to an end in “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” which debuted on Netflix and select theaters Oct. 11.

After the final episode of the critically-acclaimed TV show “Breaking Bad” aired back in 2013, the long-anticipated follow-up film “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” proves that there is much more to the story that was left untold in the original series.

Although a spin-off series, “Better Call Saul,” showcased the life of lawyer Saul Goodman before Walter White, “El Camino” is the first time the series expands beyond the finale of the show. The movie looks to wrap up the story of White’s partner and meth cook extraordinaire Jesse Pinkman.

With “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan returning to direct the film, anticipations were high for an epilogue that matched the epic conclusion of the original series. A common fear when expanding on a series as popular as “Breaking Bad” is that a disappointing return will reduce the magic of the original.

But the thrills and suspense pick up right where they left off in “El Camino” in a flawless return to form. The arc of an already fantastic character in Pinkman gets better as the man on the run tries to evade authorities and start a new life after the loud-and-fast drug lord lifestyle he lived in the TV show.

If there was one thing that could’ve ruined the film, it would be alienating viewers who have not seen the original series. With that said, “El Camino” fares fantastically as a stand-alone film. While having watched the series helps make certain things in the movie more apparent, an attentive viewer can understand what is happening through clues.

An example of this is a vacuum shop introduced in the original series that is a cover-up for a man who can make someone disappear and start life anew for a hefty fee. Those who have not seen the original might not understand right away why Pinkman seeks out this shop, but the film avoids dumbing it down while also making it obvious that this is not an ordinary vacuum shop.

Mechanically, “El Camino” differed from the series, but used the differences to its advantage. The film used music more sparingly to help build or to transition a scene, and the dark lighting fit the dramatic nature of the movie perfectly.

This film fits seamlessly into the “Breaking Bad” universe despite the gap in filming, and gives fans of the series a barn-burner of an ending to the cult classic show.

“El Camino” is suspenseful, creative and funny when it needs to be in the same style as the show. Most of all, the film adds a perfect bookend to a perfect series acting as television’s most fleshed-out epilogue. It is an absolute joy for “Breaking Bad” fans and first-time viewers alike. The conclusion Pinkman from a care-free small-town meth cook to a cold-as-ice criminal is a sight to behold.

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