Review by C.J. Bunce

Spider-Man: No Way Home is coming to DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K in two weeks, arriving April 12, and now available on “Early Access” Vudu, Movies Anywhere, and Prime Video.  The movie trailers last year already revealed the return of the best of the Spidey villains (including arguably the best of all Marvel Comics villains) with the incorporation of earlier Spider-Man movies’ Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, Alfred Molina as Doctor Otto Octavius, Thomas Haden Church as Sandman, Jamie Foxx as Electro, and Rhys Ifans as Lizard.  But there are plenty more reasons to get this movie for home viewing–it’s available for pre-order on physical media now here at Amazon.

So for those who haven’t seen it yet (it didn’t approach the Avengers: Endgame box office so we know they’re out there), is it worth seeing, and how about the special features on digital, Blu-ray, and 4K?

Just as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has been a great relief to fans of the character after so many years of just not getting it right, moving upward to replace Tony Stark as leader of the new Avengers, Sony Pictures brought the Marvel Cinematic Universe crashing back down to earth–earth of the past.  Spider-Man: No Way Home is not the best Marvel standalone movie–it’s a true connector, a “glue” movie, a tie-up of the long Avengers story arc serving as a prequel to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.  We learned it in Avengers: Infinity War: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange was the real mastermind of the Avengers conquering Thanos, and he’s the superhero who might just keep throwing the MCU into chaos, thereby setting the course for all characters–and films.  The door to the Multiverse was opened wider in Disney’s WandaVision and Loki series: the future of the MCU is all about the Multiverse–specifically blowing it wide open to allow for more alternate storylines for Marvel and Disney to pursue, including the entry of Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier revealed in a Doctor Strange trailer, a connection to pull in Venom (via more than one avenue), and maybe even an opportunity for a live-action Miles Morales (and a live-action Nicolas Cage Spider-Man Noir.  We predicted a bunch of this here at borg last year.  The Netflix Marvel series?  Now fair game to incorporate the likes of Luke Cage, too.

What looked like the MCU was moving backward instead of forward by dredging up pre-MCU characters turns out to be the juice needed to begin a different but possibly just as good legion of MCU movies.  Far more good surprises await home audiences than the villains from past films.  As superhero team-ups and crossovers go, count this movie a better watch with more heart than any of the Avengers team-ups–yes, including the tentpole team-up Avengers: Endgame.  It doesn’t have the twisty time maneuvers of that movie, but its use of magic from Doctor Strange’s world creates great opportunities for future movies.

As for the home release, Spider-Man: No Way Home will be one you re-watch again and again.  Without any spoilers–nothing not already revealed in a trailer–Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina show what a different director can do to enhance an actor and a performance, even of characters we thought we already knew.  Credit Jon Watts, who made Spider-Man his own directing Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far from Home (and soon to direct another reboot of Fantastic Four), along with return writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers.  This is the Spider-Man of the newspaper comic strips and early comic book pages.

So what do you get by way of special features on the home release?  Here is the breakdown:

  • Bloopers & Gag Reel
  • Alternate Reality Easter Eggs
  • 7 Behind the Scenes Featurettes
    • 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
  • Panels:
    • The Sinister Summit – Villains Panel
    • A Meeting of the Spiders – Heroes Panel: The Heroic 
  • JK Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson From The Daily Bugle
    • Spider-Menace Strikes Again
    • Spider Sycophant
    • Web of Lies
  • Stunt Scenes – Previsualization Footage
    • Apartment Fight
    • Shield Fight

If you buy the Vudu version (also Movies Anywhere), you get a slightly different package:

  • Bloopers & Gag Reel
  • Alternate Reality Easter Eggs
  • Behind the Scenes Featurettes
    • Enter Strange
    • Tom and Jacob Lie Detector
    • Tom’s Press Tour
    • Georgia Movie Location Promotional Feature
    • Spider-Man and the Multiverse in Marvel Comics (found in the My Extras section of the My Movies section on Movies Anywhere)
  • JK Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson From The Daily Bugle
    • Spider-Menace Strikes Again
    • Spider Sycophant
    • Web of Lies
  • Stunt Scenes – Previsualization Footage
    • Apartment Fight
    • Shield Fight

All told, none of the features measure up to the movie beyond anything you’ve probably seen on television or on YouTube.  These are truly short segments that demonstrate the crew had a good time making the movie, with some brief clips behind the scenes of the production.  So just pick whichever is the best format to watch the movie on your home screen.

This was the sixth appearance for Tom Holland as Spider-Man (since this takes place right after his fifth appearance in (Spider-Man: Far From Home), joined by Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, more Jon Favreau as Happy, Zendaya as MJ, and the rest of Peter’s school friends returning.  Plus the aforementioned Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Benedict Wong as Wong.  And music again by composer Michael Giacchino.

You probably won’t peg this movie as the best Marvel movie ever made, but it will likely go high on your list.  Spider-Man: No Way Home arrives for home release on physical media April 12.  Pre-order it now here at Amazon.  Or grab the digital version available now on Vudu.