Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix – Is It The End of the Universe As We Know It?

Ben Tennyson has used the Omnitrix to become various aliens for two reasons: the help others and because it’s just a lot of fun! Now, in saving the world from a DNA Bomb, Ben accidentally pushes the Omnitrix into SDM – Self-Destruct Mode! In Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix [The Cartoon Network, Friday, 7/6C], the Kirbyesque series gets its special, feature-length, primetime movie – and the fate of the entire universe does indeed hang in the balance!

One of the themes of Ben 10 echoes that of Spider-Man: with great power comes great responsibility. For Ben [voiced by Tara Strong], to whom the Omnitrix is both a means to help others and to have a lot of fun, this is a lesson that never seems to stick. He continues to act rashly – without thinking – and in saving the world from Doctor Animo’s [Dwight Schultz] DNA Bomb, he over extends Heat Blast’s [Steven Blum] power and unwittingly sets off the Omnitrix’s Self Destruct Mode.

He has no idea what he’s done until the Diamondhead alien, Tetrax [David Fennoy], arrives with the bad news. The Omnitrix has sent out a signal that it has begun the self-destruct sequence. Now, Tetrax and Ben must find Azmuth [Robert David Hill], the device’s creator and get him to abort the SDM. The problem? They only have four days!

Secret of the Omnitrix introduces a few new characters: Tetrax’s pilot, Gluto [Dee Bradley Baker], Azmuth and his assistant, Myaxx [Vanessa Marshall]. It also features the return of Ben’s number one archenemy, Vilgax [Steven Blum] – who refuses to believe that the Omnitrix is about to destroy the universe. The movie is a series of running battles as Tetrax, Ben and Gwen [Meagan Smith] – who has used her increasing mastery of magic to stowaway on Tetrax’s ship – try to rescue the Creator from a prison planet and find his home base. Over the course of this epic adventure, Ben will learn the meaning of sacrifice, much to his dismay.

Secret of the Omnitrix features the best animation the series has produced to date. The designs continue to echo/reference/homage/borrow the unique genius of Jack “King” Kirby. Since the majority of the movie takes place in space, that influence is more greatly felt than usual – and the result is one awesome looking movie. The locales, the aliens, the buildings, the ships all look great!The story is, for the most part, well told. There are some heavy-handed moments when Ben undergoes his epiphanies, but this is an animated superhero movie, so that kind of fits in with the larger-than-life scale that the creative team is going for. Still, these moments do feel a bit awkward [though they’re over fairly quickly].Overall, The Secret of the Omnitrix is well-paced – there’s so much going on [and it’s done so well] that the movie seems a lot shorter than it is. This special Ben 10 adventure is one terrific rollercoaster of a ride. Ben 10, it seems, is ready for primetime.

[b]Final Grade: B+[/b]

Eclipse Review Posted by Sheldon Wiebe
Originally Posted on 08/08/07

[b]Check out our DVD Review Page for coverage of recent releases.[/b]

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