I consider The Sopranos to be one of the greatest TV shows of all time. It is a show that I have watched multiple times and I would have to put Tony Soprano up there as one of the greatest TV characters of all time too. However, the thought that we needed a Sopranos prequel never once entered my mind!
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The Movie Review
Still, when I heard that this was going to be a thing, I did get kind of excited. The reason for this was that the creator of The Sopranos, David Chase was handling the script. Also, the director of The Main Saints of Newark was Alan Taylor who directed more than a few episodes of the TV show. Add to this the movie posters that said “Who Made Tony Soprano?” and I started to get pretty hyped for this movie.
I feel that if you are a huge fan of The Sopranos, chances are you will think this movie is ok at best. Those who are not familiar with the show and these characters may actually like this movie more. This is about as predictable as a mob drama can be! Pretty much right from the start you can see where this is going.
The setting of the movie is something that I thought was really cool. Taking place in Newark in the 60s and 70s, we see events from the point of view of a teenage Tony Soprano and mobster, Dickie Moltisanti who is a major player in the DiMeo crime family which also has Tony’s father and his uncle, Junior as members.
Dickie has taken Tony under his wing and Tony is learning the ways of mob life from him. Look, you can see where this is going a mile away and while I was very into this in the opening minutes, it soon became a very formulaic mob drama that just failed to wow me in pretty much every regard if I am being brutally honest.
A mob war in Jersey in the 60s and 70s with a young Tony Soprano learning the ropes and finding his way in this way of life sounds awesome! However, it just never clicked with me. On one hand having iconic characters such as Sil, Paulie, and Big Pussy in their younger forms was so much fun, but it felt more like pandering to fans of the series rather than adding more depth to these characters we know and love.
The casting in this movie is fantastic and I feel like they all do a great job with what they were given to work with. Michael Gandolfini playing the same role that his real-life father did was very cool. They really did bring together a great cast of actors here and I would not say that any of them delivered a bad performance here.
I know that this has mostly been a negative review, but to be fair, I did not hate The Many Saints of Newark, it just felt like such a step down from the TV show it was a prequel to. I feel that there is an interesting story to tell about Tony Soprano’s younger years, but this is more like your most basic mob drama than that.
- It is so cool that they had James Gandolfini playing the same role his dad did
- I liked seeing some iconic Sopranos characters in their younger forms
- The setting and ideas of the movie are good
- The cast does the best they can with this script
- It is such a disappointment as a prequel to The Sopranos
- At its core, this is just a very basic and predictable mob drama