I truly believe that 'The Sopranos' is one of the greatest television shows of all time (even with the stupid ending!) and was genuinely excited when the news of this prequel was released.
Unfortunately it is a real disappointment from start to finish. I think if it had been pitched as a HBO special (like the Deadwood 'movie') it might have been less of a let down but given the full theatre release and all the hype it really fails to deliver.
From the start having Michael Imperioli/Christopher provide a from beyond the grave voiceover provides a level of cheesiness you'd never associate with the show and a cast doing their best impersonations of the originals sometimes felt like watching gangster cosplay.
Michael Gandolfini does nothing wrong playing the teenage version of the role his father made famous but also he doesn't really shine either. It would be unfair to expect him to bring the kind of charisma his dad displayed but without it there is no real feeling that this is Tony we are seeing.
Ray Liotta plays dual roles for no apparent reason - and god knows what the point of the second one was to the movie - it felt out of place at best.
The sub-sub plot of the African-American gangsters being inspired by civil rights to strike out on their own and escape the control of the Italians might have been interesting but it was given so little attention it seemed like an after-thought.
Anyway - I didn't like it. It does a disservice to the show from which it sprang and I'd recommend just bingeing that again rather than bothering with this.