Written by / 10/11/2019 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

AARON PAUL'S JESSE DRIVES 'EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE'

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in El Camino YEAR: 2019
Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman suffered so much in BREAKING BAD... just working with Bryan Cranston's Walter White alone... that it's easy to forget the particular hell he went through in the 11th hour of the last season without his mentor...

Spending half of this sequel-movie decompressing mentally, physically and emotionally from having been locked up by the Neo-Nazi uncle of mellow yet sociopathic Todd (like a grownup kid enjoying his first "friend" whom he can't differentiate from a favorite stolen toy), who has more screentime here than Pinkman's two living tweeker buddies, Skinny Pete and Badger... And the otherwise likeable Badger spouts some of the most contrived, cringe-worthy dialogue ranging from quips about short-buses to naming every brand of clothing and toiletry they own. It just doesn't seem very natural, or like they would ever say things like, for example... SKINNY PETE: "You couldn't drive a two-button elevator." BADGER: "You couldn't drive Miss Daisy!"

Aaron Paul and Robert Forster in EL CAMINO Grade: B—
But this so-called feature film isn't really part of that legendary AMC cable series, feeling more like what creator Vince Gilligan has been doing with he and Peter Gould's prequel, BETTER CALL SAUL. So EL CAMINO moves in a cautious and meticulous fashion, with particular scenes lasting much longer than necessary. Which is fine for SAUL, being an intentionally pulpy, slowburn serial series...

But here, two hours is all we get to experience Jesse's angst-ridden deliverance from the life of frantic crime, and while going back and forth in time (that Quentin Tarantino kickstarted while reinventing the CITIZEN KANE mold, but with neurotic criminals), it's all too easy somehow. A new band of grimy villains are (deliberately) reminiscent of a simplistic old school Western, and that's really what Gilligan has made here: A kind of HIGH NOON aftermath that also features the late Robert Forster as the "Disappearing Guy" at Best Quality Vacuum...

The El Camino in EL CAMINO: A Breaking Bad Movie
Forster and Paul's pivotal scene is the best thing going, far superior to Jesse's desert days as Todd's hopeless captor, or a flashback-of-a-flashback with Bryan Cranston as the ironically naïve, hacking-cough Mr. White, proving how classic their chemistry had been a decade ago since that finely-tuned edge just isn't there, as they're simply going through the phoned-in motions...

Bottom line: if EL CAMINO were the pilot of a Jesse Pinkman series, it'd be just that: a beginning after an end with slight potential for the future. But, sadly, it's the end of the end, and spends too much time circling around old beginnings to truly feel like the curtain call that BREAKING BAD fans, or Jesse Pinkman himself, truly deserves. Yet it's still pretty cool to see the resilient and lethal outlaw the kid's turned into — and we all know who gets credit for inspiring it. 
Charles Baker, Matt Jones and Aaron Paul in EL CAMINO
Aaron Paul facing Robert Forster's Ed in one of the better El Camino scenes
Robert Forster as Ed in Breaking Bad: EL CAMINO died July 13, 1941 to October 11, 2019 the day of release
Robert Forster in EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE
Actually taken from the Breaking Bad episode Granite State with Robert Forster
And then the Best Quality Vacuum return in EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE
A Western themed Breaking Bad movie EL CAMINO Robert Forster & Aaron Paul
Who'd think Marla Gibbs, Robert Forster and Aaaron Paul would share the same screen
Matt Jones as Badger and his Battlestar Galactica poster in Breaking Bad El Camino w/ Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul and Jesse Plemons in EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE
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