Vince Gilligan understands character and conflict in a way that delivers a satisfying story every time. He wrote many episodes of the X-Files, the movie Hancock, and then created Breaking Bad. In the Breaking Bad series, we follow Walter White, a high school Chemistry teacher who takes to a life of crime after contracting cancer. We feel for Walter and understand why he takes transgressive actions in the beginning, and continue to sympathize for him long after he has discarded the veneer of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, was originally supposed to die in the first season, by Vince Gilligan observed how popular the character was with the audience. So he became the moral conscience of Walter during his descent into hell to claim the throne of the underworld. At the end of the series, we revealed to see that Jesse escaped peril. El Camino, picks up right at the end of the series as Jesse speeds away in, well, an El Camino shouting a freedom yawp.
We discover early in the movie that Walter White did, indeed, die at the end of the series. So we are left following Jesse in the aftermath. As a member of the largest methamphetamine manufacturing ring in the United States, a lot of people are looking for him. He starts the movie with nothing, and has to find a way to freedom. This conflict drives the story of El Camino.
Over the course of the movie, we see the abuses that Jesse was subjected to during his captivity as the movie spends a lot of time in flashback. Specifically, the flashback scenes center around the character Todd, the “nice kid” seeming white supremacist who seems entirely devoid of remorse for killing innocent women and children if it furthers the agenda of his drug running group. Todd died at the end of the series, but we learn from the flashback scenes that Jesse had a chance to kill hi,, but didn’t have the stomach for it.
As the story develops, he gets in touch with the vacuum cleaner repair guy who specializes in creating new lives for criminals. Of course, money is required to make that happen. And, thus, we see Jesse interacting with the same criminal element that was eager to profit from his imprisonment during the series.
Vince Gilligan delivers in El Camino: a Breaking Bad Story