Ben 10 2016 Reboot Episode Review: Clown College
Tactical Ochoa last edited by
Alright. Another episode had finally come out so I can now make another review. Ever heard of the episode, Last Laugh, from the 2005 original series? Yeah, if anyone reading this hasn't seen that episode yet and hasn't seen this reboot episode yet, go watch Last Laugh instead because this episode, Clown College, is once again another mediocre and poorly made episode of the Ben 10 reboot and a terrible remake of the Last Laugh.
In this episode, the main characters go to some college to see a college football game when they encounter Zombozo while Max reunites with his old teammates from when he played Badminton. Here we get a good look at pretty much one of the biggest, if not overall, problems of Grandpa Max as a character. He's just a generic weird and lame grandfather. There are some of the familiar elements and characteristics that we've seen of Max in the previous shows but it's so minor compared to what truly defines him as a character. There's just less about Max that's unique and more about Max that's generic, bland, and boring.
Anyways, back to the episode. Ben and Gwen meet Zombozo for the first time and while Ben states that he hates clowns, what's definitely the case in this episode is that he is not afraid of clowns. That's disappointing because in the Last Laugh, Ben's fear of clowns made his conflict with Zombozo all the more challenging and really helped build up the tension. Plus, Ben overcoming his fears formed some great character development for him. That is just not the case here.
As for Zombozo himself, his reboot design is just ugly much like with Hex's reboot design and no that's not because he's a clown. His design in the reboot really is just not good. Zombozo just looks like a generic evil creepy clown and this is pretty much how he's portrayed as in the actual episode along with having a generic goal of just wanting to steal money. In the 2005 Ben 10, Zombozo looked like a truly terrifying and fearful villain and he was portrayed as such as well. Again, just go and watch Last Laugh and see what I mean. While Zombozo was having the Circus Freak Trio steal money and other valuable items, that really wasn't his main goal, which was really to steal people's positive energy much like in a similar vein to a vampire. Again, this helps portray him as a terrifying villain in the original show and a unique villain that really stands out as well. We don't get that in the reboot. Instead, Zombozo just wants to gas a stadium audience into a trance so that he could steal a bunch of people's wallets. Christ, even his goons are generic, bland, and even pathetic. The Circus Freak Trio were a unique set of minor villains that each have their own unique designs and characteristics and were also competent and capable enough to be a proper challenge for the main characters to face. These generic clown goons that Zombozo has in the reboot very much don't fit that very same bill.
In fact, let's go over Zombozo's "greatest heist in history," shall I? Again, Zombozo wants to gas people in a stadium into a trance just so he could steal their wallets. Greatest heist in history, my ass and that's because of the sheer unpredictability of how much money is in each wallet. Some people might have a good bunch but some people might have little to no money in their wallets. This can definitely be the case considering that people already spent their money on tickets and expensive food and props. Ok, there are credit cards and debit cards but, as Zombozo states, the gas only lasts for half an hour. Once people break from their trance and realize what happened, the sensible thing to do would be for them to call their banks and cancel their cards so they can't be used so that a no go. The stadium doesn't look that big either so I'm guessing there's at least 30,000 to 40,000 people in there maybe. It's a lot of people but not enough to accumulate such a huge score. Some of the greatest heists in history involved millions, hundreds of millions, and hell even billions of dollars being stolen. Yeah, again, greatest heist in history, my ass. I bet the writers here didn't do their research on this. Zombozo would likely get a better score by stealing from the stadium itself considering the amount of profits that the stadium would gather from all the tickets, food, and props that were sold to the people in the stands. The pile of wallets that Zombozo collects doesn't even match the number of people at the stadium unless there were more off screen. This is just my thoughts on Zombozo's plan and I've pretty much gone on long enough on it so let's get back to the plot.
Remember when Ben's secret identity was exposed to people in The Ring Leader? That pretty much happens again with a small group of people. Ben wants to play a prank on some college students using Water Hazard...oh wait, I'm sorry, I meant the pathetic and lazy excuse of the not-new alien, Overflow...but the prank doesn't work and soon after Ben transforms back into himself right in front of the college students. No, they didn't walk away before he transformed back into himself because those same college students show up again in the episode and recognize Ben as the same person that pranked them.
Another thing to mention is that when Ben discovers Zombozo's plot, Zombozo warns his goons to make sure that the gas balls don't burst and thus gas the clowns. If Zombozo wants his goons to be careful with the gas balls, why have them stored in little cups that wrap around each clown goon's waist with no way of keeping them secured? If it's that easy for a gas ball to fall out, then Zombozo should've supplied his goons with a better, more secured way of storing those gas balls.
Ben gets gassed by accident and after a while breaks out of his trance by the same college students that he pranked that decided to get some payback on him. During Ben's trance, Gwen meets up with Max at the stadium. This makes me wonder. Why is Gwen not looking for Ben? Why did Gwen not even follow Ben when he left her? Why are Gwen and Max not concerned as to where Ben is at? A kid with an impulsive and fun-loving behavior that ends up getting himself into trouble and also wields the Omnitrix was running around freely on a college campus. You'd think that, much like in the original show for the most part, Gwen and Max would want to make sure to keep track of Ben so that, again, he doesn't get himself into trouble.
Anyways, the people at the stadium get gassed (and why the gas just dissipates and not settle inside the stadium considering that it's one big bowl, I don't know because these writers put so little effort into this show). After using Stinkfly for a bit (again with this alien), Stinkfly's wings get covered in taffy and the Omnitrix was about to time out. Before it does Ben decides to break Max and Gwen out of their trance so that they can help him and does this by spraying Stinkfly's slime on them and letting the smell snap them out of it. Here's something to take note of. The slime just fades away soon after. What? How does that work? How is that more beneficial to Stinkfly's species? Also, somehow the slime also snaps Max's Badminton teammates out of their trance as well even though the slime was splattered only on Gwen and Max with some of it landing on the shoulder of one of Max's teammates.
While the Omnitrix is recharging, Max and his teammates goes to battle Zombozo's goons, which leads to another problem with this episode. How are these villains supposed to be portrayed as an actual threat to the characters if they're getting their asses kicked by old guys? I'm not referring to Max here since that he's supposed to be a capable fighter already. I'm referring to the other old people that help out as well. I'm guessing an excuse for that would be that they're former Plumbers. However, the show doesn't even make one hint of the Plumbers' existence and Max's connection to them so far. Not one hint. As far as I can tell at the moment, these are just typical old people and even then, old age can still limit one's physical capabilities. Even in the OS, while Max can still kick a lot of ass, there are moments that shows that Max is physically limited by his age. Yeah, I find this really stupid but oh man, it gets worse. Oh yeah, during all of this, Gwen doesn't even help even though she tells Max that her and Ben will take care of Zombozo (not like she's helped that much in this reboot anyways).
Max's old Badminton coach suddenly just...well, shows up and formulates a plan to defeat Zombozo. Apparently this was something that was actually done during their Badminton days. Max's teammates form an actual, large racket...out of themselves. A racket...made out of old people...being swung by Max (yes, Max is strong for his age but I doubt he's that strong)...swung into Cannonbolt to fling him into the air and towards Zombozo...and somehow this plan actually works despite making no sense at all on it. How? Just how...and why? In a Ben 10 show that's part of the Ben 10 franchise where the world is SUPPOSED to be set up in a realistic way, just how and why? A few more of my brain cells died after watching that scene. This has got to be one of the most stupid moments I've ever seen in Ben 10 and there are plenty of other stupid moments in this reboot that fits that very bill as well. This is stupid. This is freakin stupid.
Zombozo gets defeated. Episode ends. This is another mediocre, bland, and boring episode with poorly made writing and storytelling. This is another terrible remake. This is a really stupid episode that ends in such a stupid way. Zombozo has been reduced to just another generic villain with a generic goal and a poor redesign and is not even a proper threat here. The action elements were really just used to set up some more stupid jokes. Even then, the action scenes are at best just average with little to no tension and challenge for the characters to face. Like I said, don't bother about wasting your time with this episode. Go watch the OS episode, Last Laugh, instead. It's a much better episode than this piece of crap.