The Many Saints of Newark fails to capture the energy of The Sopranos

The prequel movie to The Sopranos is a general disappointment.


Timur Markowitz

Fans of HBO classic The Sopranos will be disappointed in prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark.

The Sopranos, the show that kickstarted the Golden Age of Television, recently had a prequel movie released after years of fans waiting for more of the show; fans rejoiced at the concept of seeing all of their beloved characters once more. Given to both theatres and HBO MAX, this film focused on Dickie Moltisanti, the father of Sopranos mainstay Christopher. The movie was released to mixed reception, and seemed unsteady during viewing.

  An uneven film with uneven reviews, Many Saints of Newark failed to impress or provide new interesting material. Unfortunately, the film bit off more than it could chew, attempting to introduce many different new characters, only to kill them off expecting the audience to have a connection to the side character with thirty seconds of screen time.

  The film failed to recapture any sort of energy from the show, with Michael Gandolfini having what was essentially an extended cameo (though that statement could be applied to many of the characters) as a young Tony. Without any interesting dynamics or new material, the movie feels like yet one more mobster flick, and ultimately a waste of time. 

  Not only were the characters lackluster and of minor interest, the movie seemed utterly confused and obsessed with itself; the plot involved many different subplots, expecting the audience to care about each of them; the runtime being too short for the material caused the audience to care about none of them. Each subplot had little time to develop, and very few actually wrapped themselves up naturally.

  Those expecting a Tony Soprano origin story will be disappointing. Those expecting a good film will be equally disappointed. It makes no real difference which character the film revolves around, only that it is well written, acted, directed, et cetera.

  While the film has competent acting (though imperfect), the writing is completely lackluster, not giving any character depth, and as a whole the movie does not even understand its own plot. It makes one feel as though David Chase wrote whatever he could in order to get this made, merely expecting audiences to love it because it’s The Sopranos.

  But the lackluster plot, characters, resolution, and energy of the movie only shows how it is anything but. A disappointing film has a disappointing effect, and without any real plot, characters, or interesting aspect of the story, the film utterly falls apart.

  The saving grace of the movie is Uncle Junior, acted by Corey Stoll. He performs this role extremely well, matching high expectations for such a memorable character. The subplot his character went through was the only enjoyable part of the movie, with the movie’s only interesting resolution to boot.. 

  However, the silver lining does not make up for a lackluster movie and a complete waste of any audience’s time.


Final Rating: 1.5/5