Is ‘El Camino’ Breaking Bad?

October 22, 2019

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For many years, fans of the Breaking Bad franchise have followed the show’s twisted story-line since its original release in 2008. From a glance, this series appears as a perfect ballad of crime escapades, with everything from intense shootouts to stacks of money piled high to the ceiling. 

The story follows a desperate Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher who feels he has met the end of his rope. His low-paying job barely supports his pregnant wife and disabled teenage son. On top of his family’s emotional and financial stress, White discovers he is suffering from terminal cancer and faces leaving his family behind in order to support their needs. He turns to a life of selling illegal substances with his former student, Jesse Pinkman, from an abandoned RV in the deserts of New Mexico to make ends meet. 

Throughout the series, White faces hardship while he and his partner simultaneously build a thriving drug empire to aid his family’s financial worries. With a six-season-long run, the series met its abrupt end in 2013. Fans were left hanging as to where the series would go next or whether the franchise was done for good.   

When a sequel, El Camino, was announced in late August, fans fled to the internet to watch the series trailer. The film was released on Oct. 11 in theaters and also had early access on Netflix. 

After its release, the fan base was left split and confused at the sequel’s purpose to the series. Some fans fled to social media to share their opinions upon its debut, and the reviews themselves have been very mixed. The vast majority appear to see the movie as the cherry on top for the Breaking Bad series. The movie begins by tying up loose ends which the series had left open for conspiracy. Throughout the film, characters flash back to their time in the series and reflect on previous life-changing decisions they had made, and this acts as a refresher on how the actors got to their current state of being. 

Overall, many see El Camino as dull and introspective when compared to its hectic and hustled precursor. It sheds light on situations which were not fully seen in the series itself and resolves many confrontations which were disputed among the fan base. Others see the movie as a stand-alone entity, despite its flashbacks and resemblance to the original series. The film primarily follows the life and journey of White’s partner in crime, Jesse Pinkman (played by actor Aaron Paul) who is haunted by the ghosts and demons of his past and now travels through life while avoiding them at all costs. As someone who followed the Breaking Bad story-line for many years, I was excited to hear that they were creating a movie to end any possible conspiracies that were left open when the chain ended. Overall, I felt that the movie was excellent in closing any issues left to the unknown, but in many ways the movie stood alone from the series itself. I enjoyed that they stuck with the original cast members and gave them cameos in the movie pertaining to the role they played in Breaking Bad. With that being said, I would rate the movie about a ⅘ due to my dislike to new characters that caused conflict with the original plot of Breaking Bad. Coming from someone who was very involved in the franchise itself, I felt the movie was very well made with stunning graphics and bold tales that seemed to sit well with the fan-base as well.

About the Contributor
Photo of MacKenzie Morris
MacKenzie Morris, FCHS Journalist

MacKenzie is a senior in her first year of journalism. She runs cross country and track. In her spare time she enjoys watching baseball and watching drag...

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