Ben 10 2016 Reboot Episode Review: The Ring Leader
Tactical Ochoa last edited by
Episode Review (contains spoilers):
What the hell was that? What was the point of even making this episode? Where can I even begin?
Let's start up with the set up to this episode. Ben beats Gwen at a Sumo Slammer video game and celebrates...because he beat Gwen. Makes a lot of sense. Ben and Gwen were always known (especially in the OS) to have such a strong rivalry towards each other so it makes sense that Ben would celebrate beating Gwen at a video game and that should be all that Ben should care about. However, their grandfather, Max, had to step in and set things up in a terrible way for a bad and pointless episode, stating that Ben's victory is only a virtual one and thus doesn't count because Ben and Gwen were not doing actual wrestling. Again, Ben and Gwen's rivalry towards each other. Ben shouldn't care anyways because he still beat Gwen so that's all that should really matter to him. Again, I find this to be a terrible way to set the episode up.
This episode along with all the other clips of the reboot that were shown, I'm also really starting to not like Gwen here. It doesn't suit her at all that she would get involved in any of Ben's antics including the wrestling tournament. In fact, she got herself involved because of the money reward that the tournament offered while Ben just wants a victory. Pretty goddamn selfish of them to be like that considering that they're supposed to be good heroes. There wasn't even any heroism done in this episode. Yeah, Iron Kyle endangers a bunch of people while chasing Ben but that problems gets solved by itself. At least in this episode, Gwen just seemed pretty annoying while both her and Ben had selfish goals in mind and, again, no heroism was really done in this episode.
Again, the art style and animations just doesn't fit into Ben 10. Once again, much like with the previous episodes, the art style and animations take a more cartoonish approach instead of a more realistic approach. Ben whispering into Gwen's ear. Ben...deflating? The entire wrestling building jumping into the air when Ben as Four Arms body slams Iron Kyle. Even the way that Ben as Four Arms and Gwen are running towards the wrestling tournament just doesn't look good and just looks so out of place to be in a Ben 10 show. None of the jokes were even funny either. The pacing was pretty rushed as well. Hell, when Four Arms was hiding his arms behind his back, there are some scenes where the angles should make it clear enough to see Four Arms' other two arms wrapping around his back yet it looks as if he doesn't even have his other two arms at all. The artists and animators really couldn't put in the time to do that?
The sheer stupidity and obliviousness of the background characters is what also hurts this episode as well. How nobody notices that Iron Kyle has metal arms that clearly gives him an unfair advantage towards his opponents just pisses me off. Do the writers really thing that they could get away with that? That's not comedy. It's bad writing.
I also find Ben's attempt to disguise Four Arms to be pointless and stupid as well. All he does is just hides Four Arms' extra two arms under the cape? There's a scene where Four Arms slams his two hands together to blast back the garlic breath that his opponent unleashed at him and the cape kicks up long enough for people to notice the extra set of arms. Even then, no one looks at a 7-8 foot tall, red skin man with muscles that even Arnold Schwarzenegger would be jealous of and don't get suspicious about his inhuman appearance? Is that last part nitpicking? I understand if that's what people think but still, even with the humanoid shape, Four Arms still looks very much inhuman. Again, I just find it to be pointless and stupid that Ben would try to disguise Four Arms for the match because of Four Arms' appearance alone.
And then Four Arms transforms back into Ben right in front of the entire crowd. Really? They're just going to toss away Ben's secret identity just like that? Just like that and so early on in the reboot as well? Ben and Gwen aren't even worried about that (by the end of the episode, Max doesn't know yet).
By the end of it all, the entire episode was just pointless. Neither Ben nor Iron Kyle win the tournament because they both get disqualified and kicked out for cheating. What do they do after that? They just play against each other in video games while an entire crowd now knows Ben's secret.
The episode is also another remake of another OS episode, Ready to Rumble, which is an obviously much better episode than The Ring Leader. Why? Ben has a need, reason, and a point to go into the wrestling tournament and win the money prize since that he thought he broke Gwen's laptop and wants to get the money to buy her a new one. The set up for the match made sense. Ben was going up against mutants so he didn't have to worry about disguising his aliens. The pacing was better. There was heroism involved where Ben decides to help the mutant brothers save their mother from a mob boss. We also see Ben be selfless and caring as well when he decides to give the money that he won over to the mutant brothers and their mother so that they can better support themselves. Ready to Rumble isn't one of those great episodes but it was still a well-made episode. The Ring Leader was just an overall crappy and poorly written episode that had a stupid and pointless plot and stupid characters and was just overall a pointless episode to make. I really did not like this episode at all here.
On a further note, this episode was written by Steven T. Seagle from Man of Action while The Filth, another mediocre/bad episode, was written by Duncan Rouleau from Man of Action as well. Man of Action, the very people that created Ben 10 in the first place. Either they really don't like the direction that Ben 10 is going with this reboot or Man of Action doesn't have as big of a mojo anymore as they did in the past with their quality of writing shows or something. Just something.
Oh yeah, on an even further note, apparently no one has a problem with Iron Kyle trying to kill a 10-year-old kid.