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Old 2011-04-17, 02:29 AM   #22
Blackjack
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Volcano
Airdate: 25 September 2001
Written By: Tads Hayakawa
Adapted By: Tom Wyner
Japanese Title: En Garde! Two Convoys!

Synopsis:
Megatron dispatches the Predacons and Decepticons to investigate a volcano in a Caribbean resort which might be tapped into energy. The Predacon trio is dispatched to investigate the volcano, while Sky-Byte and Scourge guard the mouth of the volcano, and ignore each other. The Predacon trio triggers an eruption and flees for their lives as a stream of molten lava gushes out and begins to 'chase' them through the tunnels. Kelly happens to be in the resort, and is using the hot springs. As the eruption heats it up she thinks that the hotel workers had turned up the heat for her just as requested. Optimus Prime and the Spychangers arrive, and Sky-Byte and Scourge attack them. Scourge pushes an indignant Sky-Byte aside to battle Optimus, much to his chagrin. Optimus tries to stop the lava from erupting with his Blizzard Storm, but the Commandos arrive and try to shoot him down. Scourge easily knock around the Spychangers, but Wars slows Scourge enough for Optimus to freeze the lava... but it's good only for for eight minutes. Ruination forms and pins down the Spychangers with rapid fire. The resort is evacuated bar Kelly, oblivious to everything.

Sky-byte destroys the ice plug so that it would get rid of both Optimus and Scourge. The Spychangers push Ruination over, and tries to hold the lava back with rock barricades. Ruination destroys the barricade, and Optimus knocks down the combiner. However, too many lava has oozed out. Scourge confronts Sky-Byte over attacking him, but he insists he was only trying to hit Optimus. All the while, the Predacon trio run for their lives as they emerge from the tunnels to find more lava. Hot Shot orders the Spychangers to initiate their group 'Inferno Blast' attack to carve a path for the lava and redirect it. Scourge pays Sky-Byte back by shooting him and the Predacons, sending them into the ocean. Optimus takes down Ruination, and the bad guys retreat. Kelly emerges from the hot spring, on the verge of collapse.

Featured Transformers: Dark Scream, Slapper, Gas Skunk, Scourge, Sky-Byte, Optimus Prime, Wars, Ironhide, Mirage, Hot Shot, Crosswise, Rev, Ro-Tor, Rollbar, Movor, Armorhide, Mega-Octane, Ruination
Notable Others: Kelly, T-AI

Review:
Terrible again, sadly., although a wee bit better than 'Commandos'. The plot is uninteresting, with waaay too much time devoted to Kelly being a dumbass and trying to get a holiday. The Spychanger's magic glowing attack, the Predacon trio trying to run away from lava, are all superfluous and overlong. And the lava being treated like something half-sentient is rubbish. Also, we have random fugly action scenes, which are boring and repetitive. I mean, Ruination holds all the Spychangers down by using his big gonzo guns. Optimus gives one order and they charge and push Ruination's legs over, and he doesn't even try to stop them. What. Also, overexposition. How many times do the Predacon trio say 'the lava is still coming' or some variant thereof?

There are some bits of nice character: Sky-Byte's rivalry with Scourge, Sky-Byte's little haiku and Scourge's encounter with Optimus Prime. But those are two shining moments amid a sea of banal plot. It's like a G1 cartoon episode, but with terrible dialogue and repetitive action scenes. At least they've got Sky-Byte. While not exactly a great character like the BW guys, the fact that somebody like Sky-Byte became so memorable is because none of the other members of the cast have any personality to speak of.

(Three out of Ten)

Notes:
First appearance of Ruination's second configuration, with the land-based Commandos as hands and the air-based Commandos as legs. In Japan it's called the 'Land Mission' mode. What it accomplishes aside from denying Ruination his shoulder-rotor-blade attack thing is unknown.

Again, Spychangers do their toy gimmick of extending arms in vehicle mode, like in 'Spychangers to the Rescue'.

In a moment of proper biology (in a show that features a flying shark and a two-headed dragon) Dark Scream reveals he cannot fly per se, only glide from higher places. Of course, this means that it only applies when the plot calls for it.

Goofs:
Lava shouldn't freeze into ice, it should become rock if subjected to colder temperatures.

Lava isn't alive.

Scatterbrained as Kelly is, how could she miss the damned volcano erupting, big giant robots beating each other up and a mass evacuation?

For that matter, how did the hotel staff miss a guest? It's chaotic and all, but when they cleared the pool...

Also, other than the human immortality that often occurs in Transformers cartoons, being boiled in a hot spring while the volcano supplying it is erupting would decidedly do much worse than burn your skin. Like, internal organ damages and stuff.
 
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