CODA PART II
Felina, the series finale from Breaking Bad, was the coda of Walter White. The entire episode was focused on him and we only had a glimpse of Jesse, which only appeared at the last minute of the conclusion to my favorite series of all time.
El Camino gives us the coda from Jesse Pinkman. Was it necessary? No. Is it good? Yes.
Precisely one year and three days ago, I learned and wrote an article about Vince Gilligan producing a Breaking Bad movie sequel. I must admit I was quite stunned. Breaking Bad had already a decent but not necessary spin-off. Would Vince Gilligan be milking Breaking Bad? Could he smash the wonderfully perfect (and blue) glass of Breaking Bad?
I seriously had my doubts, but at the same time, Vince Gilligan is no ordinary artist. The magician writer, director and producer pulled off what many could only dream of. A damn perfect series. Sure, we can talk about the kleptomania of Skyler's sister, but ten minutes out of 5 seasons is not what I can call cracks in the glass.
TIME HAS COME TODAY
A year after, on a Friday evening, I'm going back home and getting ready to watch the continuation of Breaking Bad, six years after having said goodbye to my favorite series.
But instead of watching it directly, I first decide to rewatch the series finale, in order to put myself straight into it. First, I rewatch and appreciate the series finale even more. An hour after, I am ready. The feeling is entirely surreal, should I even watch it? Or perhaps I should never watch it and keep it store somewhere, like a good wine you decide never to taste before your old age. The hell with it, let's watch it, yo!
The first thing that struck me instantly was the water flowing in digital. The images are crystal clear and for someone like me who physically hates digital, I am taken off guard and I'm not sure I like it. Not only that, but the 2.35 format (actually 2.39) is also a surprise. Yes, I am watching a feature film, but I'm watching it on Netflix at home. Just after watching Felina in its letterbox format, I am surprised.
But I don't have the time to complain that already, the beloved character of Mike is back on screen and the magic is back instantly. Not only that, but the vivid colors are so wonderful that this feels like a candy we waited six years to taste. Give it to me, please.
THE STORY CONTINUES
Soon after, the story picks up exactly where Breaking Bad ended, with Jesse leaving in his stolen El Camino car. Where would he go? Of course, Badger and Skinny Pete. In this film, Skinny Pete gets the maturity and scope he deserved. I really appreciated his presence in this film. This was a true gift for me.
In the same vein as Felina, writer and director Vince Gilligan takes his time. In today's super fast era where movies tend to look like long trailers, it feels like a breath of fresh air to have a director purposely taking his time. There are never cheap shots with Vince Gilligan. While it never really fully works in Better Call Saul, it always worked in Breaking Bad and works again in this sequel.
This is a true testament to cinema. Sure, the techniques may evolve and the images are clearer and cleaner with each decade that passes, but the overall storytelling technique has not changed. Gimmicks will never make up for the lack of a good story. And in this case, the effects are clearly in sync with the story, such as when Jesse freaks out when waking up in the morning and wants to escape, only to realize that he is safe at his friend's home.
What I loved about the film is that we get to see again so many of the amazing characters we got to love over the years. The characters appear throughout the film and I must admit always in a very interesting way. The dead appears through flashbacks and the living through scenes from the present. This was really emotional and every apparition was simply perfect. If you wonder if Walter White appears in the film, I will simply let you watch the movie on your own.
When I learned about the film being made, I was quite afraid that Jessie would be drawn again in a superfluous story of revenge. The great aspect of El Camino is that we don't get a new bad guy. Surely, we get to meet new characters, and some are definitely not friends, but the movie is not an entirely new story. This is a coda and this is exactly what we needed.
El Camino is Jessie's code, the same way that Felina was Walt's coda. I easily give it 8 out of 10. And yes, Alaska after all.
It was okay. Actually worse than okay. Very slow paced & long movie and nothing much happened. We also had flashbacks back and forth. In general, It was boring to be honest. I think people are giving it such a big rating because of Breaking Bad name and universe. In reality this movie had zero tense and zero intrigue comparing to Breaking Bad TV show.