Best action movie factual errors of all time
Factual error: When Brendan Fraser & his son are running to reach the pyramid before the sun hits it, the sunrise line approaches the pyramid along the ground, but the sun would naturally have hit the pyramid at the top first and worked its way down to the ground. [Some people insist on trying to correct this - think of it this way. If the sun's illuminating the ground from way up in the sky, what's keeping something higher up than the ground in darkness?]
Factual error: A force of Russian Tu-22 Backfire bombers attacks the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) by sneaking in under the ship's radar. This is all well and good except that carriers usually don't use their own radar, they have Airborne Early Warning aircraft (E-2 Hawkeye's) that can see much further and not give away the carrier's position (let alone the F-14s which would be patrolling too) not to mention the fleet of destroyers other ships guarding the carrier. The whole point is, the US Navy practiced and planned for such a "carrier versus Backfire" battle for years. I guess in the interest of furthering the plot Hollywood has to ignore the immense measures the USN takes to protect those multi-billion dollar assets, not to mention the 5000+ sailors that man them.
Factual error: As Ben is clinging to the staircase while it is falling apart, there is a close-up of a nail being pulled out of the wood. This nail is round-headed, rather than square as it would have been over 200 years ago. It's also shiny instead of rusty, which indicates that it's galvanized. Galvanization as an industrial, metal-preservation process was not patented until 1837, and was not used in building materials until well into the late-1800s. Since the film states the staircase was made by "the Founding Fathers, " and there was no galvanization of iron nails in any industrialized nation in 1780s-1830's, this is a huge anachronism.
Factual error: Twice in the film it is made clear that the Pym particle works by reducing the space between atoms in order to shrink an object, and by increasing it to enlarge them. This means that the object will weigh the same, whether shrunk or enlarged - it cannot be otherwise. A 90kg man the size of an ant would punch a hole through any surface upon which he stood (and couldn't ride ants), Doctor Pym has been walking about with a 60 tonne tank in his pocket, Darren Cross lifts a full grown sheep between finger and thumb, and the supersized Thomas The Tank Engine would be far too light to crush the police car (in fact it would float harmlessly away as it would probably weigh less than the air it displaced).
Factual error: During the revolt, Carlo (Kim Coates) is attacked by several Psychlo gunships on the dome's roof. He then uses a Carl Gustav recoilless rifle to destroy one of them. Strangely, the missile he fires is heat seeking, evidenced by it missing the target and arcing back around to strike the gunship from behind. Carl Gustavs are not designed to fire heat seeking missiles, as they lack the tracking systems necessary to do so, since the weapon is an anti-tank rifle in real life.
Factual error: During the final battle, Gordo the tank driver calls out, "Panzerfaust, four o'clock!", as he looks through his periscope. He could not have seen any targets at four o'clock, as the driver's periscope could barely rotate towards the eleven and one o'clock positions, close to the left and right front corners of the tank's hull. The four o'clock position would be near the right rear of the tank.
Factual error: In circling over Washington Dulles, a plane would fly over several airports that they could land at with perfect communication, including Richmond, Baltimore, Andrews AFB, etc. Also, there is no communication from the airport to the plane but the plane would be in range of no fewer than 15 transmitting stations that could have relayed messages.
Factual error: After Watney patches the blow out of one of the HAB's airlocks with plastic sheeting, tie down straps, and duct tape, he pressurizes the HAB and the plastic sheeting pushes out like an inflated balloon. Assuming the plastic and duct tape would hold this is correct, however the plastic would be much more taut given the pressure difference inside and outside. The real mistake is later in the scene during a sand storm the plastic flops in and out. The plastic would remain tautly inflated, since the inside pressure is much greater than outside, and since the HAB is airtight the storm would have no equalizing effect to cause the plastic to be sucked inward.
Factual error: In the scene where Neo is shot at by the French guy's henchmen, they shoot with different types of guns. 4 of these are submachine guns which would fire 9mm. Another is a M1928 Thompson would fire .45 APC. Lastly there is a Heckler and Koch G36K which would fire the drastically different 5.56x45mm NATO. When Neo stops the bullets, they are all 9mm Parabellum rounds.
Factual error: In the first scene where Dr Strange is preparing for surgery he uses improper surgical gowning technique breaking aseptic protocols. Strange puts on a mask after washing his hands, contaminating his clean hands by bringing them in proximity to the non-sterile environment of his face. Surgical masks must be worn before the full washing of hands. Another error is that he inserted his hands all the way through his gown to don gloves. Hands must never leave the sleeves and gloves must be put on with the sleeves still covering.
Factual error: While Bridger is watching the film of the Mafia boss following Beckerman he signals for the film to be stopped so he can look at the close up shot of the man. He is watching a 16mm film shown through a bog standard projector - stop a film like that for more than two seconds without closing down the projector shutter (this doesn't happen - if it did the screen would darken instantly) and it will melt and catch fire. This doesn't happen.
Factual error: When the house explodes there is a massive explosion and fireball that creates a pressure wave strong enough to send Brian flying into the van. However not a single window breaks on the houses just feet from the explosion.
Factual error: In the opening scene with the terrorist on the aeroplane, the LL Cool J character opens the hatch to the cabin and jumps out with the mad bomber. Pretty amazing considering aircraft doors open inward, requiring about two tons of force to overcome the air pressure exerted from inside the cabin.
Factual error: Not so much of a mistake, but I want one of those satellite phones. I have a mobile which I can't hear in my pocket, let alone a hundred meters away in the belly of a dinosaur or later buried in a mound of dino dung. There is no way a 2001 phone's tiny speaker could penetrate that much insulation.
Factual error: When a group of soldiers goes to Maximus' villa to burn it and kill his family, his son points them, saying in perfect Italian "Mama! I soldati!" I just don't understand why he speaks Italian in a movie in English, where people are supposed to speak Latin, in a province where this language was never ever spoken.
Factual error: In the warehouse scene, the lights and other metal objects are affected by the box's magnetic field. Yet the soldiers easily lift the box into a metal truck to load it and slide it forward. If the box's magnetic field was as strong as suggested, it would have dragged the soldiers forward as it was magnetically attracted to the truck, and it would have taken much more effort for them to slide it onto the truck bed once it was stuck there.