Falling Short of Expectations: El Camino Review

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“El Camino”, directed by Vince Gilligan, is truly average in every sense of the word. There is not a single scene that sticks out to me as anything extraordinary. I’m not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with the movie either, and it definitely serves as a worthwhile epilogue to “Breaking Bad”. 

The crux of the problem with the movie is that it is forgettable. Even now as I am writing this review only one day after my viewing, I am finding myself racking my brain trying to remember what I watched. This can be partly attributed to my horrible memory, but some blame falls on lazy storytelling, an over-reliance on flashbacks and an all-encompassing sense of boredom felt throughout the movie.

“Breaking Bad” is widely regarded as one of the best TV programs of all time. I must admit that I have not seen the entirety of the show, so I cannot attest to how faithfully “El Camino” portrays the main character or how well it fits into the overall universe of the show. What I can comment on is the movie in its rawest form, and it is nothing to write home about. 

What really cements this movie as forgettable for me is the confusing nature of the plot. Not only does the movie lack any sense of direction, but its excessive use of flashbacks left me constantly wondering what version of Jesse I was currently following.

The pacing in this movie also just felt off. There were so many times when I was just uncomfortable by how long a scene was going on for and I found myself looking down at my watch, wondering how much longer they could drag this out for. I cannot lie though, this movie does have its moments. During the rare occurrence that the pacing felt right and I actually understood what was happening, the movie was pretty good. 

One scene that sticks out to me, is when Jesse finds himself short on cash and decides to confront the man who shorted him out of his initial score. The tension in this scene is incredible and it goes on for the perfect amount of time. It is one of the rare occurrences in the movie when you get a glimpse of how good it could have been. If the whole movie was paced like this scene, it could have been truly phenomenal, sadly we are left to wonder about the masterpiece this movie could have.

Even if the movie falls short of my expectations I can not deny how beautifully it was shot. There were so many moments throughout this film that I caught myself gawking at its incredible cinematography. From the ariel shots of a brilliant Arizona landscape to the slow top-down time-lapse showing Jesse as he ravages through an abandoned apartment; “El Camino” has no shortage of eye candy.  

This is really just a continuation of “Breaking Bad” and that might be fine for a majority of people. However, when you take “El Camino” away from the unbelievable universe that it so, fortunately, resides in, real problems start to show. It is uncomfortably long, confusing in every sense of the word, and really uninteresting to an average viewer. However, to a fan of the series, this movie can serve as an appropriate epilogue for Jesse Pinkman. 


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