El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is streaming on Netflix now
Breaking Bad, in its engrossing mercilessness, was like watching someone pour boiling water down an ant hole. You wanted to see what insect could possibly make it out alive.
That would be Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), miserable sidekick to drug lord Walter White (Bryan Cranston). On the finale of the classic AMC series (2008-2013), Jesse escaped from a neo-Nazi gang after six horrendous months. The question in the years since has been: Escaped to where?
The new Netflix film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (out now) is about Jesse’s fate. Series creator Vince Gilligan has teased this mystery in interviews since the show ended, saying that he hoped Jessie found “a peaceful life living with nature.”
That would be nice. Perhaps he could study with Nick Offerman and learn to craft his own furniture from pine trees.
Rather than spoiling anything, let’s just say peaceful living doesn’t come easy for Jesse Pinkman. In El Camino, he basically spends 2 hours and 5 minutes pushing his cart up and down the aisles of the Fresh Hell box store.
There isn’t much more to El Camino, although a number of special guest stars pop up—strange how you can feel nostalgic for really despicable people—and a few crucial, post-finale facts are casually dropped in like a sprinkling of arsenic.
Breaking Bad and its spinoff, Better Call Saul, are long-form sagas of moral corruption and ruin. Camino is about a guy between a rock and a hard place—it’s not so much about choosing between the high road and the low road as about finding an exit ramp, and fast. But it has Bad’s squinchy, sweaty nastiness and grim humor.