tek's rating: ½
Secret of the Omnitrix, Cartoon Network
Hulu; IMDb; Wikipedia
This debuted during season 4 of Ben 10. It starts with the Tennysons in the clutches of Dr. Animo, but it doesn't take long to defeat him. Unfortunately, in foiling his latest plan, Ben overloads a device of Animo's, and accidentally unleashes an energy wave that has an unforeseen affect on the Omnitrix, though they don't know that at first. Soon enough, however, an old friend, Tetrax (an alien of the same race as Ben's Diamondhead hero), last seen in a season 1 episode, shows up and informs them that he detected the Omnitrix's self destruct mode. So, he and his pilot Gluto take Ben into space to look for the Omnitrix's creator, Azmuth. Tetrax scans the Omnitrix for Azmuth's DNA signature, which they can then track. However, they soon find that Gwen has snuck aboard the ship, assuming Ben will need her help.
The trail leads to a prison planet called Incarcecon, where they meet an alien of the same race as Vilgax, and she claims to be the creator of the Omnitrix. However, once they've helped her escape from the planet, she admits she was only Azmuth's assistant. She says he never respected her nor gave her the credit for her work, which is why she altered the DNA signature to her own instead of his. So, she leads them to a hidden planet where Azmuth had his secret base. Meanwhile, Vilgax is constantly looking for Ben, wanting revenge for his earlier defeat.
Well, there's plenty of cool space battle action, and Ben learns some lessons about selflessness and caring and whatever. Though I doubt he'll remember those lessons long, seeing as actual personal growth would screw with the familiar dynamic of the series. Oh, and I totally guessed which alien race Azmuth would turn out to be, I think it was easy to figure out for anyone who pays attention to the series. Of course, when they first found him, he wasn't interested in fixing the Omnitrix, even though it turns out the self destruct would not only destroy the wearer, but the whole Universe. He claimed not to believe it was worth saving. But he changed his mind. Besides, his reason for creating the Omnitrix in the first place wasn't as a weapon, but something much more peaceful, which belies his cantankerous personality. I should also mention that Ben gets a new alien hero to turn into, so I expect to see this one pop up in the series now. And that's all I can think to say. It was a pretty decent movie, if you're a fan of the show.
Ben 10 vs. Negative 10, Cartoon Network
Well, this isn't exactly a TV movie or anything, it's actually two episodes of the series, set at the end of season 4. However, the eps originally aired back to back, at a special time, and without even being broken up by end/opening credits, or anything. So you might as well call it a special. It was decent, anyway.
Ben, Gwen, and Max are joined by a kid named Cooper, who is the grandson of a former Plumber friend of Max's. It will turn out he has the ability to control machines. But anyway, the story is... not exactly what I expected. I kind of thought there'd be like, you know, a sort of negative version of Ben. (Okay, Kevin 11 is kind of like that already, but I mean something more sort of alternate universe-y.) But it's not. Actually it turns out the Negative 10 (see, I was fooled by there being no "the" in the title) are a group of former enemies of Ben's who have been assembled by the Forever King, the leader of the Forever Knights. I don't think I even remembered ever having seen some of the villains, nor did I actually count them to see if there were ten of them. But at least I was familiar with the circus freaks, and Dr. Animo, and Charmcaster.
Well, they get ahold of a pair of keys that are needed to unlock a forcefield in the Plumber base under Mount Rushmore, which contains an alien power source, which the Forever King wanted to steal. And we learn about the King's true identity, which was... important, but not exactly shocking, if you think about it. And there's plenty of fighting of course. And the good guys win in the end, though I found it rather implausible.... Whatever, it was okay. And I can't think what else to say.