Everyone’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man swings into homes tomorrow as Spider-Man: No Way Home arrives on Blu-ray. Picking up right where the previous film in the franchise, Far from Home, left off, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) finds himself dealing with the fallout of Mysterio revealing to the world that he is Spider-Man.
Once able to live a double-life under the cloak of anonymity, the glaring lights of a relentless media have laid his life bare for all to see. While there is little proof to the claims outside of Mysterio’s manipulated video, this has not stopped the likes of The Daily Bugle’s Editor-in-Chief J. Jonas Jameson (J.K. Simmons) from painting him with a villainess brush. Having to live under the microscope of public opinion is not just a burden for Parker, but his loved ones as well. His Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), Stark Industries Head of Security Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), and friends MJ (Zendaya) and Ned Leed (Jacob Batalon) are not only brought in for police questioning, but the mere association with the controversy impacts MJ and Ned’s chances of getting accepted to MIT.
Believing it is unfair that his friend’s futures will be jeopardized due to his actions, Parker enlist the help of sorcerer supreme Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to cast a spell that will have the world forget that he is Spider-Man. Of course, he does not want everyone to forget, those closest to him should still be able to remember. Unfortunately, magic spells are not designed for impromptu amendments and Parker’s constant tinkering has unexpected ramifications.
Accidently opening the gateway to the multi-verse, Parker soon finds himself confronting a sinister group of villains – Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Lizard (Rhys Ifans), and Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) – who all have history with the Spider-Man of their worlds.
By bringing in Spider-Man’s greatest foes from the pre-MCU Spider-Man franchises, Spider-Man: No Way Home plays up the sense of nostalgia while continuing Marvel’s tradition of setting up future films. While there is the constant awareness that the film is a primer for the next Doctor Strange film, director Jon Watts does a good job of making No Way Home its own contained story. Guiding the growth of the character over the course of three films, Watts manages to make his most emotionally resonating Spider-Man film yet.
If Far from Home was partly about Parker’s search for guidance in a time where media manipulation was fueling growing extremism, then No Way Home shows the full ramifications of living in an era where the court of public opinion is quick to rule without facts. This not only impacts how society views Spider-Man, some see him as a hero while others consider him a reckless vigilante, but also how the masked web-slinger views himself. Always believing in the best of mankind, Parker must wrestle with his desire to “cure” these foes from another universe and the unwaveringly stark notions that others have about good and evil.
While Watts does not delve too deeply into any of the social commentary the film raises, he adds just enough to make the emotional beats hits. As this is a Marvel film, the emotional moments are often bookended by thrilling action sequences. One may always be aware of the product being sold, the film is as much an advertisement for the previous Sony Spider-Man films as it is a farewell to the characters teen years in the MCU franchise, there is no denying that the No Way Home is tons of fun.
Packed with over 80 minutes of bonus material there is plenty on the Blu-ray for fans to sink their teeth into. There are several features that highlight Tom Holland’s progression as Spider-Man over the years as well as what it was like working with the all-star cast. One of the most intriguing features is “Action Choreography Across the Multiverse” which finds the stunt team breaking down how many of spectacular action sequences were crafted.
While not quite on the level of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, this is easily the best Spider-Man film of Watt’s trilogy. Filled with plenty of humour, action, and heart, Spider-Man: No Way Home will satisfy even the most casual fan of superhero movies. Considering the sheer amount of easter eggs in the film and the number of special features on the disc, this is a must add Blu-ray for Spider-Man fans.
Bonus Features: Bloopers & Gag Reel, Alternate Reality Easter Eggs, Action Choreography Across the Multiverse, A Multiverse of Miscreants, A Spectacular Spider-Journey with Tom Holland, Enter Strange, Graduation Day, Realities Collide, Spiders Unite, Weaving Jon Watt’s Web, The Sinister Summit – Villains Panel, A Meeting of the Spiders – Heroes Panel, The Daily Bugle, Apartment Fight, Shield Fight