In this action movie starring Angelina Jolie and some guy, competing bands of super-assassins fight each other by bending bullets, leaping through explosions in slow motion and falling into ravines. They are able to do this because they can heal any wound -- or even near-death -- by taking baths in some white, waxy substance. In a couple of hours, this secret healing formula has them as good as new.
Above: The only scene in Wanted you paid attention to.
Hang on a second ...
In a movie containing at least three so-over-the-top-it's-hilarious stunts for every minute on the film reel, it's necessary for the writers to concoct at least a rudimentary explanation for how the characters survive repeated stabbings, gunshot wounds and train derailments. They patch this up with a few fleeting references to some kind of slime that cures all injuries and ailments. In short, the most overpowered superhero tool since Captain America's everything-proof shield.
"Fuck you, Timmy. Super-healing goo is retarded. Pick a normal power."
According to the film, it has the power to regenerate even the most severe of injuries "in hours, not days" and apparently works by stimulating and speeding up white blood cells. From this we can clearly discern two things:
1) The writers are getting white blood cells mixed up with platelets, and
2) This is the most important medical discovery since our cavemen ancestors first discovered that the cure for starvation was eating.
So why the hell is it used exclusively by the bunch of people who, if they were better at doing their jobs, would have the least need for it?
Detractors will argue that they have some kind of assassin's code that for some reason we can't understand requires them to make the world better by killing criminals, but not a lot better by curing cancer. Problem is (spoiler alert), it turns out that the assassin leader, Morgan Freeman, stopped following the code long ago and is now motivated purely by profit.
Really, it's a role Freeman's been playing for years.
Considering that he's sitting on the most profitable commodity on planet Earth and using it to help him run an extremely high-risk, low-reward international conspiracy, we're pretty sure he's the worst evil businessman ever.
Somewhere in the midst of Arnold Schwarzenegger's regrettable comedy phase, he made this Christmas movie about a desperate father trying to get that season's hot toy: an action figure of a flying, Iron Man-like superhero called "Turbo Man."
We truly apologize to everyone who'd just barely managed to drink this film out of their consciousness.
After a Goldberg machine-like series of wacky coincidences, Schwarzenegger winds up in a promotional Turbo-Man costume. He then uses it to rescue his son and get him a Turbo-Man action figure while simultaneously thwarting Sinbad's efforts to forge a notable career for himself.
Hang on a second ...
Ahnold has been in a lot of science fiction films and has come face-to-face with plenty of futuristic mechanisms. It's kind of weird, then, that one of the most advanced pieces of technology he's ever encountered appears in a Christmas comedy movie.
Yup, that's a working jetpack. Now, we've mentioned this before, but jet packs aren't really viable in the real world. There's no way to store enough fuel to keep you in the air, and even if you could, the heat from the exhaust would melt away your lower torso.
What the Turbo-Man toy company has actually created here is a fully operational prototype for a device that would revolutionize the defense industry. While suited up, Arnie flies around for a good two-and-a-half minutes straight, burning through obstacles without ever complaining about discomfort, and at one point, he crashes face-first into a brick wall and just gets up and keeps on going. In short, they didn't just create a costume. They created Turbo-Man, the actual superhero who appears on the box. In real life.
Also in this film: Arnold's O-Face.
Remember that all this was intended as a fun sideshow on a Christmas Day float, so it can't have been expensive to build. However they cracked the super-suit algorithm, they did it with the resourcefulness and the budget of Tony Stark trapped in an Afghan cave.
And they use this revolutionary invention for entertaining toddlers and selling toys. That's right: Rather than selling the actual suit and making billions, they use it as a prop to help them shill a plastic action figure that doesn't actually do anything and will probably wind up covered in cobwebs behind some kid's dresser about two weeks after Christmas.
Comes with a bonus Marvel intellectual property lawsuit.
But dismissal of this invention is still nothing compared to ...
The main villain in the film is called Syndrome, and he and Mr. Incredible have a long history. In the prologue to the film, as Mr. Incredible prepares to bust a supervillain, a young kid named Buddy flies in on homemade jet boots. He says he wants to be Mr. Incredible's sidekick; Mr. Incredible makes fun of him, and he later becomes a supervillain because of it.
Or maybe because of his tragic, ejector-seat-related traumatic brain injury.
Hang on a second ...
Yes, this is an animated movie, but it doesn't star talking fish, rats or toys. Outside of the superheroes, the world of the Incredibles is just like ours -- there are offices and jobs and suburbs and frustrated marriages. People drive cars and live in apartments.
Uh, why? Why do their cities still look like ours when 15 years before Mr. Incredible started dealing with his midlife crisis, a small child invented a propulsion system that can support the weight of a human body, and needs no bulky fuel supply?
Plus, wearing it gives you killer ankles.
That invention -- and the broader technology behind it (the energy source, etc.) should have utterly changed society. And it all came from a kid -- at the age when most boys are just starting to have strange feelings about boobs, this kid is already the greatest scientific mind in history and could probably even beat Tesla in a duel. He would be known as The Kid Who Saved the World.
Yet the whole character arc of Buddy's transformation into the evil Syndrome follows his lifelong quest for attention, in which he's finally forced to build a giant city-destroying robot after his jet boots, hover-cars and anti-gravity devices fail to raise any eyebrows. Really? The technology that can single-handedly end global warming and our dependence on fossil fuels? It's like if the guy who invented the printing press died broke and alone while everyone else continued to chisel out memos on stone tablets with a woodpecker.
"What possible industrial uses could an anti-gravity ray have?"
It's not even like Buddy kept his intellect a secret -- he very publicly demonstrates his jet boots in front of a crowd of onlookers. Sure, he accidentally demolishes a train, but being clumsy doesn't invalidate the fact that he's the greatest inventor the world has ever known. And this is a world in which superheroism is illegal, so there's no reason he wouldn't stand out in a crowd. If Mark Zuckerberg can make the cover of Time magazine, surely there's room for the kid who instantly vaulted human society a century into the future.
And be sure to pick up our NYT bestselling book to see how we're changing the world for the better (maybe).
Check out how some less than reputable things actually did change the world in 5 People Who Changed the World From Inside of Prison and 5 Horrible Diseases That Changed The World (For the Better).
And stop by Linkstorm to see how the Internet is going to change the world (by destroying it).
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infograpic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!