- Aaron PaulJonathan Banks...
- Action & Adventure
- Out now
- Vince Gilligan
(Image credit: Rolling Stone)
Long gone are the days of Jesse Pinkman and Walter “Heisenberg” White’s eerie sessions in their iconic aprons and neon yellow hazmat suits. Vince Gilligan’s latest Breaking Bad venture, El Camino goes on the run with meth-cooking prodigy, Jesse Pinkman. Why is Pinkman on the run, exactly? Can it possibly be that his past has come to haunt him? If that is what you are wondering before you hit play, you will still be having a few questions when the credits roll.
The main protagonist, Pinkman, is played by American actor Aaron Paul. Fans of the Breaking Bad series were captivated by his funny catchphrases and dim-witted nature, but El Camino sees a brand-new fugitive Pinkman stepping up his street smart game to escape the manhunt out for him after his cooking partner’s passing. Covered in scars, Paul disappears into his role, offering a very believable performance of the internal struggles that Pinkman suffers. The dark comedy in Gilligan’s writing tone sends the viewer into guilty rounds of laughter over Pinkman’s unfortunate luck, which has him barely escaping dire situations and authorities in time.
Right after the discovery of White’s body by the police, Pinkman fled the scene in his capturer’s El Camino car. He had previously been detained by a bunch of outlaws and forced to cook meth for them as they held him in a cage. He visits places of his captivity during a journey to retrieve money for his getaway from New Mexico to Alaska, which is propelled by his reunion with his good friends, Skinny Pete and Badger, along with the “disappearer” Ed Galbraith.
A catalyst scene shows Pinkman watching his parents on television beg him to turn himself in, which he dismisses in search for freedom from all his current situation, yet inflicts great compassion and growth on his character. Master scenes include Pinkman burning down a particular building that Jack’s crew had chained him up in, as well as his flashbacks with people who have departed his life for good.
El Camino has, at least for a short while, given fans a window of opportunity to continue the roller coaster of plot twists that Breaking Bad supplied in plenty throughout its six-year run. Personally, our brief encounter with Pinkman’s threatening standoffs was indeed exhilarating, but I do not feel like the film has truly let me into his mind. Although, his elongated silence throughout the movie speaks volumes about the level of trauma he is enduring, and enables the viewer to decide how they think he feels instead. All in all, you learn that change is possible and people can grow from their past if they are willing.
Also, you never really know what happens to the El Camino!