The most famous drug cook of the United States is dead, but his gangster morality lives on in a rather questionable way. The ex-chemistry teacher and archbishop Walter White from the immensely successful series “Breaking Bad” has lost his life in a bloody showdown. Netflix's film sequel titled “El Camino”, in an in-cut review of his former student and criminal colleague Jesse Pinkman, says, “You're very lucky, you do not have to wait your whole life to do something special.”
As he says so, White, played by actor Bryan Cranston, gazes out of the window of a diner like a hated prophet into a dusty desert landscape.
The special in Jesse (Aaron Paul) still young existence consisted of the production and the selling of Crystal Meth, from money bushes and murder and manslaughter; Every fan of “Breaking Bad” knows that. Six years after the spectacular bloody end, director and scriptwriter Vince Gilligan has now shot the two-hour sequel that recounts Jesse's fate and tells of how it will continue after Walter White's death. It's a sentimental but also annoying reunion with the always sunlit and sometimes brain-ridden gangster world of the Crystal-Meth-Brewers of New Mexico.
Gilligan is the man who came up with Breaking Bad. And he summarizes how the cancer pediatrician White first started his own drug production in the desert on his own, then won Jesse as a salesman and apprentice, and how the two traveled along with and without each other a train path paved with corpses.
At the beginning of “El Camino” you see Walter White's departure, for which he had installed a self-firing system, among other things. Many flashbacks invoke Jesse's past martyrdom. An opposing gangster had chained him to a drug boil in a cage. In fact, for half a dozen “Breaking Bad” sessions, Jesse has long been a battered and depressed, unreliable and maltreated victim.
Jesse finally gets serious
As a hero in “El Camino” makes Jesse, who used to talk only about the fact that he wants out of the gangster hell, now finally Ernst with the big escape. From the scene of the bloodbath that Walter White wrought at the end of his life, Jesse rages to the house of his rotten friends Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and Badger (Matt L. Jones), where he gets an escape car whose model gives the movie its name.
No serious criminal would drive around in such a ridiculous car, says one of his buddies, so he's the perfect camouflage. Does anyone find this funny? No matter. Also “Breaking Bad” has always been a series with extremely tight-dosed and rather coarse humor. In “El Camino” is now made, among other things, a flat joke with the ancient movie title “Driving Miss Daisy”.
Admirable is the matter-of-factness with which director Gilligan simply recounts where “Breaking Bad” stopped six years ago. “El Camino” describes the ghosts with which the hero Jesse struggles. In Flashbacks, we see a mad charwoman murderer, his lost love, his parents. At the present time, Jesse needs money to settle a bill. The tension of the film arises solely from the question of whether or not he will escape from the police and despite many obstacles to a new life.
There are, as might be expected, gorgeous scenery shots in “El Camino”, encounters with well-behaved rival starlets and at least two soulful farewell scenes. Basically, the film in 120 minutes hardly tells a different story than the legendary 1960s television series “The Fugitive”, in German “Dr. Kimble on the run”.
However, unlike Kimble, Jesse has a heavy debt to his name – and you can see that too. Scars rip his back and face. The actor Aaron Paul radiates a nice calm in this role of hero, and in the course of the film, he does not seem to recover physically from his injuries, but mentally to cope with his past a little bit.
According to television news, Walter White and Jesse operated the largest US amphetamine lab. And for a moment, the hero's bruised face looks like he's actually proud of the terrible thing he's done in his young life.
Since 11.10. on Netflix.