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Breaking Bad, Spin Off 'The Road'

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One of the best series of world television returns, via Netflix, with ‘The Road’, a story that begins where the original ends, but without the leading weight of Bryan Cranston. Films as epilogues of hit series seem to be the new reef opened by the film and television industry. What was once an exception, something that was done from time to capitalize on the big screen the popularity of a series – File X, Sex in New York, Twin Peaks -, it seems that it will become a trend, in an avalanche of expanded universes in the Marvel style. In just a few months, Downton Abbey, Transparent and now Breaking Bad have been released for the Netflix platform.

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Actually, Breaking Bad had already expanded in the form of a spin-off with Better Call Saul. Raised in principle as a prequel, the series, after four seasons, already has a personality so strong that it does not need to rely on its origin. This time it is a strict continuation of the original television, it begins where it ends. Answer a question that, however, is not given to think that many fans of the series have been asked: what happened to Jesse Pinkman after being released during the shooting of the last episode? But how many sequels, prequels, remakes or reboots are they? The needs of these continuations and expansions almost never have their origin in an artistic stimulus, but commercial. It is the creators who must make them necessary from an artistic point of view.

‘The Road’ is a very enjoyable epilogue. Especially for fans of the series. A vibrant thriller, full of visual strength and narrative tension, at the height of a good Breaking Bad chapter. The director combines two time lines very effectively. The main narrates Jesse’s escape (in a Camino model car, hence the title) and her attempts to rebuild her life. The second, which interrupts the first, narrates its captivity by a group of neo-Nazi traffickers. The film, surprisingly modest in its pretensions, includes several sequences to remember: the search for money, the peculiar work that Todd assigns to Jesse, the conversation in the vacuum cleaner shop with the recently deceased Robert Forster, the duel to the purest Western style Scenes, characters and dialogues, house brand, that remind us, six years later, how much we enjoyed watching one of the best series ever.

31 October 2020

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