Movies, in order to be entertaining, must adhere to some sense of realism. No matter how fantastical or how far outside the realm of possibility a movie may be, without some sense of believability, it becomes less engrossing. Granted, the whole idea of a movie is the suspension of disbelief, but if certain parts of a movie are too far-fetched or too unbelievable, it tends to distract away from the story. You have to believe that somewhere, sometime, on some planet, within some different set of scientific and natural laws, a story could take place, no matter how unlikely, and moviemakers know this.
Take, for example, comic book movies. Dude doesn't just wake up one day and notice he can fly, or breathe fire, or have super strength. Likewise, dude doesn't just get born from normal parents under normal circumstances with any of these or other superpowers. If you made a comic book or a superhero movie with just some guy who was born under normal circumstances and has never had anything extraordinary happen to him, but he somehow had superpowers just because, it wouldn't go over so hot. Audiences would revolt because it would be insulting to their intelligence.
So you have to give superheroes some sort of backstory to explain how they can do the things they do. Superman has his powers because he's from another planet. Batman is really rich so he can buy all kinds of cool shit to make him do other cool shit. Spiderman was bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him spider-like characteristics. And so on and so forth.
This brings me to my discussion of the latest X-Men movie, that of the origins of Wolverine. First off, I liked the movie. I've liked all the X-Men movies. I was very afraid when I saw that Ryan Reynolds, who almost single-handedly ruined Blade Trinity, would be making an appearance as Deadpool. Mercifully, his screen time and lines were both very limited, so the damage he did to the movie was minimal. So for the most part, I liked that movie.
The fictional and fantastical elements I either found to be either not too big of a stretch or explained well enough to not be a distraction. Genetic mutation is a scientific fact, so it seems reasonable that human DNA could mutate, resulting in different and extraordinary abilities. Likewise, it seems likely that people with such abilities could be employed by governments as super-soldiers. It seems reasonable that Liev Schreiber is very ugly and has trouble talking. It seems reasonable that a super-strong metal alloy could be made capable of cutting through all other metals. With medical advancements capable of giving people artificial limbs, it didn't seem too far-fetched to think metal could be added to someone's skeleton. All of these elements of the movie, while obviously fictional and outside the current state of things, all seemed like under a different set of circumstances, maybe they could happen.
However, there was one element of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, that I found just too far outside the realm of possibility. Something so far-fetched that it distracted me and disabled my suspension of disbelief, making it hard to take the movie seriously. That element?
After Wolverine decides to leave his assassin work behind him and starts lumberjacking it up (or off?), we are shown a carnival scene. The carnival appears to be a clean, well-lit, well-maintained affair with professional carnies and lots of attractions and eye-appeal. The carnie-goers are energetic, youthful, well-to-do white upper middle class without a care in the world. The caption given as the carnival comes onto the screen is "Springfield, Ohio."
I've been to the carnival in Springfield, Ohio and trust me, it doesn't look anything like that. As a matter of fact, I go with my wife every summer, just to make myself feel better about my own station in life. The Clark County Fair in Springfield, Ohio is the biggest, dirtiest, stinkiest, white trash shithole in the history of big, dirty, stinky, white trash shitholes. If the Kentucky State Fair walked by and saw the fair in Springfield, Ohio, it would say "God Damn! That is a big, dirty, stinky, white trash shithole!" As a matter of fact, those of us who live in the surrounding area affectionately refer to Springfield, Ohio as Springtucky, and for good reason.
Where at the Springfield, Ohio in the X-Men movie you see a clean, young, white couple walking hand-in-hand, at the real thing in the real Springfield, Ohio, you see a 17-year-old white girl chasing after three illegitimate bastard children, all of whom are different ethnicities. Where in the movie you see a sword-swallower, in the real Springfield, Ohio you see an overweight man with his ass-crack hanging out shouting at everyone to come see the next show of "The Amazing Gorilla Girl." Where in the movie you see clean grass, in the real Springfield, Ohio you see dirt paths littered with piles of cow shit. Where in the movie you see a clean, well-kept balloon stand, in the real Springfield, Ohio, you see a slightly leaning stall labeled "Rednex" where you can buy all imaginable articles of clothing to display the rebel flag, as well as your inbred heritage and your dislike for black people.
But to be fair, I shouldn't rag on the Springfield fair too much. After all, it is where I've built most of my sexy hat collection, including my cow-spotted cowboy hat (a "holstein hat" as one of the native hillbillies referred to it) and my personal favorite, the leopard-print fedora. You have no idea how easy is to get pootang walking down the street in a leopard-print fedora.