K-Pax

K-Pax (2001)

1 suggested correction

(5 votes)

Factual error: The lab technician tells Dr. Powell that Prot is sensitive to ultraviolet light, and says "he can detect light up to 300 to 400 angstroms." Normal human vision is considered to be about 390 to 700 nanometers, which is 3900 to 7000 angstroms. The highest light frequency that an animal is known to be able to see is about 280 nanometers, or 2800 angstroms, so he is saying Prot can see a frequency about 10 times higher than any known animal. 300 angstroms isn't just ultraviolet, it is bordering on X-ray. Prot wouldn't just be unusual, he would be a medical marvel demanding worldwide research for his visual range alone. (00:23:00)

jimba

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Suggested correction: There no actual mistake here. Just some additional information surrounding the statement made in the film.

Phixius Premium member

1) While Prot is painted as having many abilities so unusual as begging people to accept him as not human, the ability to see that light frequency would cause the medical professional to jump out of their skin and start calling everyone else in the medical field, not just go "wow, that's weird." 2) Seeing those frequencies is essentially impossible to occur for a couple reasons, mainly that it would take multiple simultaneous genetic mutations (the lens would have to mutate to pass and focus that frequency where currently it completely blocks it, the fluid inside the eye [aqueous humor] would also have to mutate since it is also opaque to those frequencies, and the retinal receptors would have to mutate to be sensitive to those frequencies) and no such mutations are known to have ever occurred in any animal, plus the ability for a mutation to be sensitive to extreme ultraviolet (again, those frequencies are almost X-ray) is probably not possible due to the physics involved in how receptors work, meaning for it to happen multiple mutations in the receptors alone would be needed. 3) This isn't a superhero movie where a person seeing X-ray is just accepted; it is a movie attempting to portray a person as bizarre but within the realm of possible, which this isn't. Personally, I think the writers meant to say he was sensitive to 300-400 nanometers and goofed and said angstroms (some people with artificial lens replacements have been know to see up to about 380 nanometers). The lab tech on the other hand would know better and wouldn't make such a mistake, so this is a movie mistake, not a character mistake.

jimba

Continuity mistake: The taxi ride to the planetarium begins in a Ford Crown Victoria but ends in a Chevy Caprice. (00:36:02)

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Question: Despite Dr. Mark Powell's certainty that "Prot" is a delusional man named Robert Porter who lost his mind and attempted suicide years earlier, no explanation is ever given for Prot's extraordinary resistance to powerful psychiatric drugs, his superhuman vision (into the Ultraviolet range), and his knowledge of deep-space astrophysics, which not only rivals but exceeds the knowledge of Earthly astrophysicists. Prot's enigmatic abilities are tested by experts, and the experts are left scratching their heads. The probability that Prot actually is an alien entity occupying a deeply-damaged and "discarded" human body seems confirmed on many levels, above and beyond the rantings of a mere mental patient. So, why does Dr. Powell consistently reject the hard evidence before his eyes?

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: He rejects it for two main reasons. First, each of the items you mention have possible, even if unlikely, explanations. Some people have strange or no reaction to certain drugs (for example I have almost no response to any painkillers). People who have had their corneas replaced with artificial lens can see near ultraviolet (though nowhere near 300-400 angstroms). The sheriff described Porter as being very bright, and he was in to astronomy, so while a great stretch, not impossible he somehow formulated the information he presented. The second reason, building upon these, is Occam's razor. As a person in the sciences, Dr. Powell is driven to believe things have a reasonable explanation, even if we don't currently know what it is, and thinking Prot is just a bright and unusual human is a more reasonable belief to him than believing Prot is an alien possessing a human's body.

jimba

Just remarking, there's no comparison of painkillers and psychiatric drugs. Thorazine and Haloperidol (Haldol) are both powerful anti-psychotic drugs with numerous side effects. Prot is immune to Thorazine and Haloperidol (as well as alcohol), which is more than extraordinary, it's otherworldly.

Charles Austin Miller

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