Monday, October 4, 2021

The Many Saints of Newark - HBO MAX/THEATERS - 1 Star - October 1, 2021

 The Sopranos, it ain't.  David Chase's new story of the origins of the HBO crime family headed by James Gandolfini as Tony gives us a look at the roots of many of the characters we loved on the series. Set in Newark during the summer of 1967, touching on the urban riots of that time but not beyond a touch, the tale unfolds in voice over by Christopher Moltisanti reprised by Michael Imperioli.  We meet Christopher as an infant.  In voice over he tells us Tony Soprano will chock him to death.  The plot centers on Christopher's father Dickie Moltisanti as played by Alessandro Nivola.  Fans of the original series' violence won't be disappointed.  Dickie commits some break-taking (literally) killings.  Ray Liotta snags a double role as Dickie's father and uncle.  Most appropriately we meet Tony as a young boy and later as a teen played by James Gandolfini's son Michael.  I'm glad Michael's going into his father's business, but he's too much of a teddy bear for this role.  The Many Saints of Newark sets impossibly high expectations.  The result disappoints.