El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie ★★★★

So what the fuck happened to Jesse? Find out in this encore bonus episode of Breaking Bad. And that's what it is, at about the same level of quality. There's no reason to be disappointed. Judging on its own merits is impossible; this belongs to the original series. The writing remains unpredictable as ever, second to none. That has always been the genius behind this show, and the more low-key Better Call Saul.

As expected, Vince Gilligan opts for the more architectural, professional approach of the later seasons. Aside from a few minor distractions (Todd, shown in flashback, is hilariously overweight), I was no less than captivated from bookend to bookend. The plot is simple, conveyed beautifully in each shot. Each utterance of dialogue tells you something new about the characters, not a word wasted. There's a satisfying dose of dark comedy. You get to see many characters from Breaking Bad have one last go-round. Yes, it's fan service, but it's full of depth and charm and never feels out of place.

Nothing Jesse does ever feels out of character, and there are moments in Aaron Paul's performance that are truly poignant. We see how he's grown, or perhaps shrunk, as a character during Walt's final escapade. You can tell how much Vince loves these characters, and the goal of this movie is simply to provide closure.

Color me biased, but El Camino is easily one of my favorite films of 2019. It is exactly what you expect in the best possible sense. My condolences to the late great Robert Forster, who could not be more perfect here. RIP.

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