Mitchell Gant, once one of America's finest fighter pilots, is recruited by NATO, despite continuing bouts with battle shock (incurred in a harrowing mission in which he was captured by the Vietcong but rescued by US Air Force choppers), for a suicide mission - Soviet Russia has developed the ultimate fighter-bomber, the Firefox. A stealth warplane capable of sustained Mach Six speeds and possessing revolutionary thought-guided weaponry, the Firefox can tip the balance of international power, and the prototype's seat is form-fitted for just one pilot, Colonel Yuri Voskov - to whom Mitchell Gant is the only Western pilot with the identical physical build necessary for the special pressure suit worn. NATO contacts among Soviet dissidents smuggle Gant through Russia to the Red Air Force's testing facility in southern Ukraine, where he must steal the Firefox - and escape the wrath of the world's most powerful air-defense grid, and of a second Firefox prototype. Written by Michael Daly
Errors and Explanations
Internet Movie Database
- After the explosion in the hangar, you can see Mr. Gant in the shower during the alarm. A few moments later he's seen in his pilot's uniform heading toward the "Firefox". It's very unlikely that Mr. Gant can go from the shower to having a pilot's uniform in the hanger area in such a short period of time.Gant could be a quick dresser.
- When leaving the Moscow Hotel, Gant purchases a Havana cigar and smokes it on his way to the meeting. Later at the Russian scientists' house, Gant says that he has not smoked for years and is told to learn again as this will provide credibility to his disguise as a Russian officer. Gant is technically referring to the years before coming to Moscow
- When taking off from the ice floe, the Firefox has its air brakes fully extended, a highly inefficient way to take off. Perhaps the brakes were extended for extra directional control?
- When the submarine goes up to break through the ice, you can see an antenna or periscope sticking out above the submarine. When seconds later it's broken through the ice and at the surface no antenna or periscope is visible. They could have been quickly retracted just before breaching the ice, in order to avoid damage.
- In the Soviet Union no foreign car were used by state owned companies like delivery service. But despite having Soviet's off roader UAZ logo on the hood and similarity with UAZ 452 in general, they do drive a foreign delivery car from Moscow to Bilyarsk. Maybe it just appears to be a foreign car which has been adapted to appear like a Soviet one.
- When Gant steals Firefox from the hangar, it's dark outside. However, as he takes off from the runway, rather oddly it's daytime! A quick sunrise perhaps?
- The entire performance of the "thought guided" missile system that was highly touted was never realized as the breakthrough it was, albeit it totally unrealistic. His contact inside the U.S.S.R. even said, "now, you don't even have to push a button...", yet in the first battle scene inside the Firefox, Gant is manually arming the weapons systems, with the gun firing (red) button, no less. More like releasing the safety system. We are told at the beginning that the "sensors inside the helmet" automatically seek out and detect threats according to the pilot's thoughts, yet in the final scenes, it is a long, drawn-out dogfight. If what was true about the thought-guided threat attack system, the second prototype that was attacking Gant would have never survived after the first missile attack. The pilot of the other Firefox probably used his sensors to avoid Gant's missiles with the same ease that Gant avoided his missiles.
- During the dogfight with the other Firefox, Gant is taking evasive action for minute after minute, needlessly flying through mountains, doing barrel rolls and all kinds of acrobatic maneuvers. So why did he not think to launch the "rearward" missile until after he recovered from his flat spin by lowering the landing gear? He probably realised he needed something unexpected to overcome the mutual advantages shared by both Gant and his opponent.
- After the Firefox has landed on the ice floe, he asks the sub commander to steam off a 3,000 foot runway in the three minutes he has until the Soviet investigative forces arrive. There is no way that the sub crew could steam a section of ice that long in three minutes, let alone go back to the sub, find the hoses, hook them up, let alone have 3,000 feet of steaming hose, let alone having enough pressure to do the job. They could have steamed more than one section at the same time, using more than the one set of hoses shown.
- When the Soviet "hotline" phone sounds in an extreme close-up, we see the GTE logo on the bottom of the phone...It could be a Soviet copy, similar to the fake Timex digital watch shown in Spies Like Us. (IMDB entry tt0090056)
- In the scene where Pytor Baranovich is in the Firefox, Colonel Kontarsky is staring at him, at a short distance away from the Firefox plane. Baranovich looks at him with his head turned to the left. But when the camera has a closer shot of Colonel Kontarsky looking at Baranovich, Baranovich is looking back at him, this time with his head turned to the right. Baranovich must have turned his head.
- When Gant gives the command to fire the missiles, he uses the command "skaitie pierva rakieta" which translates roughly as "Launch First Missile." However, this is the only command that is given (i.e. he does not give a command to launch the second, third, or fourth missiles) to launch all his ordinance. The computer could be interpreting it as an order to launch the first remaining missile.
- After Gant takes off from the ice after refueling, he retracts the front stabilizers of the Firefox into a "V" shape. The next shot of the plane shows them out at 90 degrees again. (IMDB) This is actually a shot of Col. Voskov's Firefox in pursuit of Gant. However, during the climatic dogfight, Gant does indeed extend the forward wings to their full, 90 degree extension.
- After the Firefox is stolen, General Vladimirov explains to the First Secretary that in order to maximize fuel range, Gant will have to control his speed and fly low to conserve fuel. The part about controlling his speed is true enough: speed, particularly with afterburners, is the enemy of fuel consumption, but flying low is exactly the opposite of what he should do. Airplanes - jets, in particular - burn far less fuel at higher altitudes where the air is thin than down low where it is thicker. Vladimirov probably suspects that Gant will actually fly low to avoid radar detection, which is less effective at tracking low flying aircraft.
- The missiles that were "borrowed" from the MIG 25 in Syria were too small. The missiles carried by the MIG 25 are roughly 15 feet long and weight close to a ton and would not be able to be carried by hand as the crew of the sub is seen doing. Some MiGs use a smaller missile type, especially when exported.
- mozeus5 When Gant gets inside the Firefox in the hangar and starts it up, the guards don't think to shoot out the tires while it's in the hangar? Grumpy Scot There was just an explosion in the hangar and in the resulting confusion none of them were sure why it was moving. To get it away from the fire is not unreasonable. Also, the Soviet military is not big on showing initiative. Unless told to disable it, none of the guards would risk severe punishment for damaging a valuable aircraft.
- The two helicopters arrive at the ice floe seconds after Gant has taken off in the Firefox. None of the pilots or observers hear or see the receding aircraft or its exhaust trail? None of them see the runway flattened out in the surface of the ice? It would be visible! Are people with such poor eyesight allowed to fly helicopters? Grumpy Scot Good points, but essentially meaningless. Had the Soviets seen the Firefox sitting on the ice, they might have tried to destroy it before it could take off, assuming they were armed. Even that is not assured. The choppers attacking a US sub in international waters would be an act of war. Desperate or not, its highly unlikely the USSR would risk that, particularly since the plane was already gone, it would only be a revenge attack.
- dfish Corrected entry: The Firefox was initially shown as a silver / chrome aircraft. When Mitchell Gant lands on the ice cap, the aircraft is black. After he flies away after refueling, it turns back to the original color. Grumpy Scot At no point in the film is the Firefox silver.
- After Gant shoots down the 'Badger' reconnaissance plane, it should have given away his position. But the Russians at the command centre still had no clue as to where the Firefox could be. There isn't even a mention of the missing recon plane. Jason Hoffman Meaning they weren't aware of it yet.
- When Gant is confronted with the Russian cruiser, he says he can't take evasive action because he is low on fuel, so what does he do? he flies over the cruiser at full throttle. This would burn more fuel than if he had taken evasive action. The trouble in this case is that fuel was already quite low enough for reaching the pre-established rendevouz point; taking evasive action (especially at high speed) and correcting the course again would certainly use more fuel than going in a straight line. Therefore, it is only logical that Gant has to barge right into the cruiser.
- About 5 minutes into the film Clint Eastwood is having a Vietnam flashback where he is being rescued by American aircraft. One plane is a World War II era fighter used more than 20 years before the Vietnam war. Grumpy Scot This is not a mistake, these planes were still used in Vietnam for ground attack as they were far harder for new Russian-made SAM's to home in on. They were nicknamed "Sandies". Seniram Technically, the prop aircraft known as Sandys were A-1 Skyraiders designed and brought into service after WW2.
- It's funny how when Gant lands the Firefox on the ice to refuel, the American submarine crew immediately attach the U.S designed fuel pump nozzle perfectly onto the Russian designed fuel intake on the Mig that the Americans knew nothing about. How did they even know what type of fuel it takes? Unk MM User 01 MiG-29's and SU-27's were designed to operate from captured airbases in Europe in the event of a massive land war. Most of the fittings are desinged to work at these Western bases. Since the "MiG-31 FIREFOX" was supposedly built at the height of the Cold War and after the MiG-29, this is perfectly reasonable. Unk MM User 02 The movie says specifically when they are refueling that they took the spare missiles from an Indian MIG-25 (the plane the real MIG-31 is based on and in the book it was a super-evolved MIG-25 as well) so it means the fuel socket and stuff are the same as the MIG-25... which is true also in real life as most Soviet fighters had common elements for simple practicality (field commonality).