Without spoiling anything, the movie — written and directed by series creator Vince Gilligan — basically picks up where the show left off (as “Bad” prequel “Better Call Saul” has demonstrated, Gilligan doesn’t really sweat time lapses), charting Jesse’s next moves from there.
Of course, the “Bad” finale sent the character into the night with a cathartic yell, but there was the little matter of what one does after such an ordeal, especially with that many dead bodies in the rear-view mirror as baggage.
What ensues, though, is essentially a rather low-octane thriller, punctuated by trips down memory lane. And while there are some fine moments buried within all that — some showcasing Gilligan’s quirky streak, like an incongruous rendition of the song “Sharing the Night Together” — it still feels a trifle unnecessary.
Perhaps that’s because some things that worked inordinately well in the series — the long pauses, the quiet, and the ability to tease out the tension surrounding seemingly inescapable predicaments — are processed differently when crunched into a two-hour movie.
The movie can be good, in other words, and still feel like something of a disappointment relative to the sky-high expectations — existing primarily as a sort of bonus to the fans.
That’s hardly a crime, as these things go, but “El Camino” nevertheless plays more like the generic version of “Breaking Bad” than a full-strength dose of it.
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” is playing on Netflix and in select theaters.