At the end of Xmen Origins, Stryker is shown shooting Logan's brain in the front at the top, which leads me to believe that only the frontal lobe was damaged, and possibly the parietal lobe. After looking more closely at the part, I notice that it seems nearly impossible that the bullet hit the temporal lobe. If it didn't hit the temporal lobe and there's a high chance it hit the Broca's area, how come he knows how to speak English, and how come he doesn't have his memories?

Wolverine shot in head

If I'm not understanding this completely, please explain what happened.

3 Answers 3


Which parts of Wolverine's brain did the bullet hit?

The script doesn't describe exactly what parts of the brain is hit:

Stryker fires again.

The adamantium bullet rips through Logan's forehead with an unholy sound.

Logan falls to the ground.

Stryker stands above him and fires another bullet into Logan's head.

We already know from the other X-men movies that Wolverine has lost part of his memory so it stands to reason it has hit the parietal lobe, but seeing as most people don't know much about how the brain works (or know that "We don't really know how the brain works" as everyone says in movies and TV), I don't think David Benioff & Skip Woods were that concerned with explaining the exact trajectory and damage of the bullets.

That said, the brain is concave and there is a small gap between the left and right hemispheres, so the bullets could have ricocheted off the top of the inside of the skull down towards the parietal lobe.

How come he knows how to speak English, and how come he doesn't have his memories?

Sufferers of Retrograde Amnesia are more likely to lose recent memories that are closer to the trauma than their older memories.

It may be that the bullet isn't even the primary cause of the amnesia, for example in the Comic Origin he loses his memory due to shock:

James is still in shock and appears to have no recollection of what happened. This loss of memory is due to Wolverine's/James' healing factor which, in effect, "healed" (by putting up a mental block) the mentally devastating traumas of witnessing his father's death, the confusion of mother's anger towards him and the pain and surprise caused by the sudden manifestation of his claws.

With this in mind, it could be the fact that he just saw Kayla die in front of him, had liquid metal injected into him and had his brother turn against him that was the real cause, and the bullets were just the finishing touches.

Regardless of the cause, TVTropes calls this particular plot contrivance Laser-Guided Amnesia:

With surgical precision, amnesia strips you of all information pertaining to personal identity, leaving just about everything else intact. TV Amnesia is a disorder where you forget where you put your keys, but you do not forget what a key is or what it's for. You will forget where you went to school, but not any of the things you learned in school. As a result, the character will retain all of their skills — though they may not know they have them at first.

  • 2
    "I don't think David Benioff & Skip Woods were that concerned with explaining the exact trajectory and damage of the bullets." - Bingo!
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 26, 2014 at 19:17
  • Thanks for explaining extra, I haven't read the transcript or watched the other movies (I also haven't read the comics, but it shouldn't relate to the movie as much).
    – Cilan
    Jul 26, 2014 at 19:18

A bullet from a long barrel rifled handgun at point blank range, of the same impervious metal that has enough forward momentum to punch a hole in said metal, would rattle around in the brain and scramble all of it. Not just one part. Brain tissue is incredibly soft, and the bullet likely ricochet inside the brain pan multiple times. His entire brain would be mush.

The problem is that the movie is attempting to retroactively explain his memory loss. They ignore logic in order to make the past mesh with the future. There is no logical explanation of the Trauma Logan experienced and the injury we see on screen. Logan's incredible Mutant X-Factor Healing Factor did it, is the best hand wave. it can do anything the plot dictates. In the comics these means regeneration from a single cell after being hit by a nuclear bomb. In the movies it means imperfect regeneration of brain damage resulting in amnesia.


the shock explanation makes a lot more sense... the bullet could have been the trigger or the catalyst for the regeneration into a "healthier brain", with no traumatic memories... it's the closest to a good explanation we can get, I guess. The bullet itself killing those memories doesn't make sense even if it had hit the right place in the head, because memories are made of proteins in the synaptic ends of neurons, and Logan could definitely regenerate all of them... I guess they tried to make it more accessible for most people by saying the bullet would destroy his memories, but it's just terrible, doesn't make any sense at all and it really disappointed me.

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