Film Theory: Is Hitman’s Bulletproof Skin POSSIBLE?

Film Theory: Is Hitman’s Bulletproof Skin POSSIBLE?


When it comes to unraveling the
mysteries of film, no mission is impossible. Hello, internet! Welcome to Film Theory. Now, you guys all know how much I love movies from video games, right? *Laughing* Sorry, I just make myself laugh sometimes. Anyway,
this one’s a little bit different, since today, we’re talking about Hitman, which
is much more “Bourne identity” and much less “Super Mario the movie.” In case you haven’t seen it yet, the
non-spoiler premise of Hitman: Agent 47 is that a top-secret organization has
been modifying human DNA to splice together the best genes and create
superhumans. They train their little genetic creations from birth to become the ultimate killing machines, and that’s about all I can talk about without
stepping into spoiler territory, so, hey! Avert your eyes and go to the movies, then come back and watch this, because this episode is really, really good. Or
better yet, click on the Film Theory playlist, rack me up some retention time, YOU go see the movie, come back, and then watch this video. we all win! But mostly me, because that sweet sweet retention time. Seriously, you’re gonna wanna watch this one. Okay, you back? Picking popcorn kernels out
of your teeth? Wiping artificial butter substitute off your fingers, but still getting your keys all greasy? Good. On we go. So Agent 47 is cool and
all, but for me, the most interesting character with the least interesting
name is John Smith, who has this bizarre knack for staying alive despite being SHOT. Repeatedly. In a typical spy movie, you have your villains! ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Sure, but they’re just regular guys. When
you finally shoot them (which, granted, does take about six scenes and two expensive car chases) they do tend to, you know… die. In Hitman though, the problem is that when the hero shoot the bad guy, John Smith, they have to keep shooting him. Like, this guy seriously cannot die. BANG! You’re dead! Oh. No, just kidding, you’re…still here! Oh! Okay, you’re back again… Discount bullets are the worst! There’s literally one line in the movie that actually explains how
he’s pulling this off. “He has subdermal body armor.” “Pretty crazy, huh?” That’s it! That’s all we
get in terms of exposition. “Subdermal armor.” As in, he has a bulletproof shield
that sits under his skin. Yeah. Okay. Nice try. Why doesn’t John Smith just say
resurrection stone? That would have been just as plausible, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, the technology to
create bulletproof skin actually exists. Basically, what we’re talking about here
is a bulletproof vest. But instead of wearing it under your clothes, you wear it under your skin. Okay, what do we know that’s bulletproof?
Obviously, old Zachary Q isn’t installing steel plates under his skin, So we need a
few other ideas. Let’s start with the most famous bullet
stopper: Kevlar. It’s weird, isn’t it, that whenever
someone’s like “Oh yes! The shield was fortified with kevlar”, everyone’s
always like “Ah!” “Yes!” “Oh!” “Of course” “Kevlar!” “How droll.” As if any
of us actually know what Kevlar is. I mean, we all pretend like we’re super
familiar with it because it shows up in every episode of Burn Notice, but until
doing the research for this episode, I, for one, had no idea that it’s actually
just really strong plastic. Not like this plastic, or that plastic, but like the Superman of plastic. In fact, it would be stronger than the old “Man of Steel,” since it’s five times stronger than steel by weight. More importantly than just
strength, though, we need to take a look at its tensile strength. Tensile strength
is a measure of a material’s resistance to tearing, Or, basically tells you how much
force it takes to break through it. Units of tensile strength are
megapascals. MPas. So the MPa of a piece of armor tells you the force you
need to put on it to break through it. Kevlar has an unbelievably high tensile
strength of about 3,750 megapascals, compared with steel, which is about 650. Making it a super appealing option for bulletproof vests and helmets, but not so
much for putting under skin. Even though Kevlar is light, it’s nowhere near that
light. And perhaps more importantly, it’s still nowhere near as flexible as human skin. In the movie, we see John Smith ducking, rolling, jumpin’ n’ jivin’. In other words, his movement isn’t limited by whatever he’s got under there. And by “there” I mean his under skin armor not his Fruit of the Looms. In other
words, our armor needs to be extremely flexible. It takes at least 20 layers of Kevlar to
stop a bullet, and these layers aren’t like your normal fabrics. They’re plastic, so no Downy softness
here. And while it’s a lot lighter than steel,
it’s still too heavy. We see ol’ John Smith running and
jumping at top speed. It’s true he’s genetically engineered to be strong, but it would be a big burden to be slowed down by armor. With Kevlar vests
weighing in at eight to ten pounds, Johnny would have a hard time keeping up
with Agent 47. But if you thought Kevlar was the cutting-edge, ha! Someone hasn’t been reading their American chemical society publications lately. No? That one’s just me, huh? Ok, fine. Let me
catch you up on what you’ve been missing. There are a few new players in the
miracle substance game lately. One of which is nanocellulose. Nanocellulose is like the high-tech material for hippies. Made from all natural
organic nano-sized particles that actually come from wood, algae, or even
bacteria, and are basically purified all the way down to the molecular level, then
pressed together to form a crystal structure that’s eight times stronger
than steel, more flexible than plastic, and when thin is even see-through. There’s also a lot of really cool
applications for nano cellulose, from display screens for phones, bendable
organic batteries, and, you guessed it, bulletproof armor. The tensile strength
of nano cellulose is reported to be different things based on the
preparation, but by weight, it’s comparable to Kevlar. And because
it’s not plastic, but instead an organic material, it’s more flexible and could
theoretically be implanted under our skin. One of the less intuitive things
that we can gather from the movie is that the armor John Smith is using has
to be biologically safe. This may be sci-fi, but at a fundamental
level, John Smith still has human DNA, which means his body is susceptible to
the same things we are. And the human body generally doesn’t have a whole
bunch of unidentifiable junk sitting around it. This “au naturale”
armor would seem to make a good candidate, except for the fact that it’s
a bit too “naturale”. In the sense that it could actually react with your body. Cellulose is a material found in plants. If you remember from fifth grade biology, it makes up plant cell walls. It’s in a ton of our foods, and people
eat it all the time, because even though we humans can’t digest it it makes us feel full. The way it does that, though is by reacting with what’s already in our bodies: Water. Cellulose is extremely porous, and it
attracts water molecules that stick to it on every side. Nano cellulose, exposed to water, blows up
to hundreds of times its volume. That’s why eating things with cellulose
make you feel full. Because literally its bloating you with water. if you were to put nanocellulose under
the skin, the water that’s in your body would be absorbed and stretch you out
like a human balloon. Oh my gosh! does this nano cellulose make me look fat? Even though the armor itself would be
relatively light, the water that pulled around it would add pounds, and give your
whole body of bloated, pillowy texture. And definitely not the svelte Johnny
Smith we’ve come to know and love. But wait! We’re not done. There is, in fact, a miracle substance
that will allow us our perfect under armor, or I guess, under skin armor: Graphene. Like its compadre, nanocellulose, it’s a
carbon-based sheet, but unlike nano cellulose, there’s nothing else in it. While other materials are a mix of carbon, oxygen, and a couple other elements, graphene is unique,
because it’s made completely out of locked carbon crystals that can exist as
thin as one molecule and can be stacked in layers to form a crystal lattice. If that concept doesn’t sound familiar, it should. In principle, it’s the same
structure that’s used to build a diamond, the hardest substance in the world If you were to wear under skin graphene armor, you’d literally be wearing diamond
armor under your skin! If you’re talking tensile strength,
compare Kevlar’s 3000 megapascals to Graphene’s 130,000! And not only that,
compare the weight of Kevlar or steel to graphene, where a single layer of
graphene covering an entire football field would weigh less than a gram. An entire football field! Less than a gram! And if you’re worried about fitting it
under your skin, don’t! Since graphene is truly only one molecule thick, you
would need to stack three million layers of this stuff to get one millimeter in
height. Which is mind blowingly thin, but begs the question: “How thick does this stuff need to be to fulfill the ‘bullet stopping’ part of our bulletproof skin theory?” Well, it turns out that tests are already
being run on graphene using micro-bullets literally micro pellets shot at
thin layers of graphene to test it’s stopping power. In experiments at Rice University, with micro bullets being shot at three kilometers per second, 3x faster than an AK-47 bullet, a 100-nanometer thick layer of graphene stopped the bullets. 100 nanometers! The way it’s stopping these micro bullets
was by stretching and spreading the impact force out over a wide radius,
which caused the graphene to bend a lot, sure, but not to break. Yes, it’s only been
tested on a micro scale, testing it against steel shows that even in very
thin layers it works ten times better than steel armor, with a tiny fraction of
the weight and practically unlimited flexibility. Which makes it sound like
the perfect fit to our John Smith mystery, but then what about the human body? We talked about the bloaty inconvenience of nano cellulose, but is graphene any better? Actually, yes. Otherwise, this episode
would have a really unsatisfying conclusion. Because graphene is made of, in theory, a perfectly uniform carbon structure, it’s almost totally nonreactive. If any of you remember high school chemistry, it’s never really the carbon atoms that are doing anything exciting. It’s always the oxygens, or the
chlorines that are getting all the action. They’re like the swinging singles
of the atomic world. Carbon is like the married friend that doesn’t come to the bar with the gang on Friday nights anymore, because once it’s in a molecule,
it’s just happy to hang out. This means that graphene isn’t going to be reacting
with water, and it’s not going to dissolve. It’s just gonna stay there until you
need it to help avoid death for the twelfth time this weekend. Seriously, John Smith, consider your actions. So all in all, when Johnny Smith is
wearing his graphene armor, it’s just sitting in an ultra-thin, ultra flexible sheet of
diamond-like hardness right under his skin, made completely of carbon, reacting
with nothing except the bullets he’s taking a few times an hour. So graphene
has a tonna superlatives. You know what else it’s the best at?
Conductivity. Graphene has been classified as the most conductive
material in the world meaning that would protect the wearer
from bullets better than any other substance, it’s not the kind of thing you’d
want to be wearing in a thunderstorm. But still, not a bad trade-off for being
indestructible. So, in the end, what started off as one of
the most improbable villains in an action movie, John Smith’s “subdermal titanium body armor”
turns out to be an awesome example of cutting edge and completely plausible
tech. Wait, did they just say subdermal
TITANIUM armor? After all this, and he’s not even wearing
the stuff? Ugh. Well, in the end I suppose it was just a theory. A Film Theory! and
cut. Welcome back to the SUPER AMAZING END CARD TOURNAMENT! where I’m curious. If you had the chance to
implant yourself with subdermal super skin like graphene, would you do it? Like, it’s a cool idea in theory, I get it, but seriously, what are you doing in your
life that you would need something like that? It’s not like you’re getting mugged every time you’re headed to the corner store for a gallon of milk, or if you are, I’m sorry for that joke, and I would also recommend trying to move. Please move from your current
residential area. Anyway, I was just curious what you would do. Yes or No? Click on one to cast your vote
and get sent to the channel page where you can watch all the other nifty videos
we’ve been making lately. Digital movies and Frame by Frame have
had some stellar uploads lately, so I’d go and check out those series if you
haven’t yet. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a bow tie to tie. I don’t care how smart you are, those
things are tough.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. wait if it is most conductive material and electricity goes the path with smallest resistence wouldnt storm go through it instead of rest of thebody and safe your life

  2. if u have insanely conductive skin the most of the ions from lightning will travel along the outerskin meaning u wud lithrly be unharmed from lightnings electricity but heat is a difrentstorry becouse while it conducts the ions it heats um considorable much meaning that most like ly ewent u wud die from the some sort of poisoning when your body tryes 2 proses the burnt parts of your body mostly skin and electricity can not really kill u only if it goes trought hearth making it vibrate and stop pumping blood or the considerable amount of pain u get from it that makes u fall from high places and falling can lead 2 serious damage and ofcourse insane burns can cause your body 2 die from poisoning becouse can not handle that much burnt material

  3. actually the graphene armour we're also protect the wearer from electricity because the electricity won't be going through the human tissue it will be going through the graphene and away from the organs of course it would also damage the skin at the place of contact

  4. He's not enhanced to be stronger but fast by as 47 says his nerves have been reworked to be faster probably much like the spartan 2 program augmentations speaking of which do a film theory on that

  5. I'd do it….just….cause why not. 🙂
    So long as I have no loss in money and the surgery only take a year or so for full recovery I think it'd be fun.
    Like cool party trick stop a bullet with my butt!

  6. MacPAD The strongest substance is carbon nanotubes no one is mentioning use it for bullet-proof stuff because they’re so tiny but is still the strongest thing on our planet to this day so I’m more smarter than you 😝

  7. I’d have a jacket with graphene in the lining.. Wearable bulletproof arm our that looks inconspicuous, but can be removed in case of lightning or metal detectors.

  8. inaccuracies in the movie from the game. 1:The bar code should be on the back of 47's upper head, not his neck. 2: 47 should be completely bald, not shaved. 3: It shouldn't have as much [ahem] 4: it shoudln't suck

  9. Yaeh but on top of the fact that he can get electrocuted really easily the graphine armor is UNDER his skin so his skin is not protected by it and he has no armor on his eyes so really not a good trade off after all and if he gets sick he can't even get treated correctly (because of the armor) so agent 47 just needs to put a bit of poison on his bullets and nife and say goodbye to John Smith

  10. When you said like armour under the skin, I immediately thought of graphene(I haven't finished the video yet so if it was his ultimate conclusion, sorry).

  11. I mean yeah I would have it. Yes I don’t REALLY need it but it would still be cool to say “hey! Punch me” and nothing to happen… just it would be fun though I guess I would never be able to go ANYWHERE near a toaster but I’m fine with cereal for

  12. Why try even if any of these materials worked how comes when he’s stabed the skin above the material he didn’t lose any of the skin above the protection?

  13. It’s funny you mention retention time. I listen to your theories (both game and film) while going to sleep. Your voice is very soothing. 🙂

  14. I’m very much prone to paper cuts, so if graphene underskin armor could help with that, then I’m down. Also I mean, I like the idea of invincibility anyway. You know, just in case.

  15. About the conductivity, two layers of graphene at specific offsets can do wild things. From room temperature superconductor to electrical insulator with a fraction of a degree difference in offset, if I remember correctly. And while keeping such a precise offset while getting shot might be impossible… come on, this is Hollywood.
    Also, is graphene flexible enough? Did I just miss that part?

  16. If there was somewhere I could sign up for a scientific test of this experiment I would be there so fast.

    I guess the deeper question is would you be able to survive the force-displacement, and how long would it take for your skin to heal.

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