Con Air

Factual error: The whole basis of the trial and conviction of Cameron Poe is a crock. The judge can not arbitrarily mete out a sentence that is harsher based on the ability of someone to defend him/herself. In justifying the harsher sentence because of Poe's military skills, the judge effectively says that Poe is more guilty than an average person due to his honorable and decorated service in uniform to his country. In my entire time in law school, I never read one out of the literally hundreds of cases I was assigned in which a judge issued a harsher sentence because of someone's innate or learned abilities to defend themselves. But since this was a movie court room proceeding, the fact that Poe had a witness to the fight (his wife), the fact that he was injured in the fight, and the fact that his uniform was torn and otherwise ruined as a result of the fight are never examined. A D.A. wouldn't have taken this to a grand jury on a bet, because they would have never returned an indictment or "true bill."

Plot hole: The convicts remove the radar transponder from the Conair aircraft and put it aboard a tour plane to distract their pursuers. That won't work. By law the tour plane will have a working radar transponder of its own, and two working transponders that close together will show up on radar as a collision. Air traffic controllers would immediately alert emergency services who would, obviously, wonder how two aircraft that had collided had managed to stay in the air. Nobody disconnects the first transponder - Pinball carelessly tosses the second transponder under the rear seat of the aircraft (the implication being that it continues to operate, perhaps on backup battery power). He doesn't disconnect the original transponder either - Swamp Thing, a skilled pilot, does that. There is no time for him to do any of this before he is stopped by the female security guard anyway.

Plot hole: All pilots are carefully trained and have the technology to secretly transmit a code that tells air traffic control there is a hijacking in progress, without having to say a word. They also have a hijack code, something that sounds completely innocuous to you or me, but would be instantly recognisable to the airport authorities.

Factual error: In full view of police officers Cyrus murders a Federal Marshall, then he boards an aircraft which takes off despite being refused clearance. This would result in the immediate closure of the airport. It would be locked down until cleared as a crime scene which could take three or four days. All incoming flights would be diverted to their alternates and all planned outgoing flights would be grounded. How, then, does Uncle Bob's Scenic flight get clearance for takeoff?

Plot hole: At the end of the film when Cyrus is handcuffed to the ladder of the fire truck, he crashes through a restaurant bridge and falls towards the road below, (the fire truck passes below him) but somehow he lands in a construction yard on a conveyer belt leading to a crusher. (01:39:43)

Factual error: When the aeroplane is crash landing in Las Vegas, it follows a flight path from shot to shot that would have been physically impossible; one moment bearing down on the strip, next downtown, back to the strip, back to downtown, and back to the strip before crashing there. (01:36:00)

Factual error: The type of fire pump that would be on the ladder truck that they're driving at the end can not pump water and drive at the same time. The transmission has to be moved from "drive" to "pump". Nor could the ladder operate while driving down the road. (01:41:35)

Continuity mistake: The plane began its flight in the desert just outside Las Vegas in broad daylight (the sun was still shining). But when they reach the strip it is late at night. (01:28:00 - 01:34:50)

Factual error: In a scene during the C-123 (airplane) flight, Nicolas Cage and another man open a trapdoor in the floor on the plane and go down to a lower level to discuss their plans. This aircraft sits very low to the ground and has no lower level in any part of the cargo area. (01:00:55)

Con Air mistake picture

Continuity mistake: After the plane has crashed in Las Vegas, Cameron Poe rescues the bunny (his daughter's birthday gift) from the sewer/gutter. The bunny is obviously soaking wet since it had just been floating down the street in a stream of water. Later, when he gives the bunny to his daughter, it is dirty, but dry. It is clear because the ears are sticking up and bouncing, and the fur is fluffy. (01:44:50 - 01:46:35)

Con Air mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the car hits the control tower and falls. You can see the "azz kickr" licence plate still intact. A few seconds later a crumpled up licence plate that says "azz kickr" is picked up by Colm Meany. That plate is meant to have come from the front of the car, but we've seen before there was no plate at the front. (01:28:40)

Continuity mistake: When Malloy's car comes crashing to the ground, not only do Larkin's arms rapidly change position, his sunglasses seem to rapidly jump onto, and off, his face. (01:28:35)

Continuity mistake: Near the end when Cyrus is about to get his head crushed, he falls from the carousel head first and as he falls his legs are facing the stone crusher but for some reason his head lands under the crusher not his legs. (01:44:20)

Continuity mistake: At the air field there is a scene when Cyrus is loading his gun. If you look closely at the clip you will see that it is hollow. You can see right through it. (01:22:05)

Con Air mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Pinball is fighting the female guard on the plane they are struggling, and from one angle her hat has fallen off and from another angle she is still wearing it. It jumps between scenes like this with her hat being on and off. (00:24:03)

Audio problem: There is a scene where Johnny 23 is on the tower and he sees all of those cars coming. He runs, and while he's running he yells "holy shi*". His mouth didn't move at all. (01:12:20)

Plot hole: Removing the radar transponder from the C123 would not render it invisible to radar – it's a huge aircraft with a large radar signature. It would be easily tracked by airport radar, and anyone who wanted to know would know exactly where it was going. How to identify which radar track is theirs? Easy. It's the one without the transponder signal.

Factual error: They drive through a tunnel in Las Vegas underneath the Boulevard - Vegas doesn't have a tunnel there. (01:41:15)

Con Air mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When we see the close-up shot of Steve Buscemi grabbing the doll, he is picking it up with his right hand. But in the next shot, when you see a wider view of him picking it up, it is now in his left hand. (01:12:55)

[Poe is looking out of the back of the plane at the DEA agent's car tethered to it, flapping about.]
Cameron Poe: On any other day, that might seem strange.

More quotes from Con Air

Trivia: The original plan for the ending of the movie was to crash the plane into the White House.

More trivia for Con Air

Question: What is the actual likelihood that a decorated serviceman, with no prior criminal record (we know this because if Poe had any priors he wouldn't have been in the Army) would actually get prison time for killing two men who attacked himself and his girlfriend? Seeing as there were witnesses (said girlfriend and bartender) I find it hard to believe he would have gotten more than an extended period of probation. A prison term, even a year or two, seems severely harsh considering the circumstances.

dablues7

Chosen answer: Zero. As you said, he was attacked and there are witnesses that he tried to avoid the fight and the killings were in self-defense. It is an extremely weak plot hammer to get Poe onto a plane full of criminals. It's foolish as well. The writers could have had Poe framed for a crime then exonerated and put in the same situation much more believably.

Grumpy Scot

It's in Alabama. People are put in prison here for much less.

First, Poe is a federal prisoner, not subject to State laws or legal procedures. Secondly, he is not in Alabama. During a conversation with Billy Bedlam we hear that he is incarcerated in the "Q" - prison slang for San Quentin in California. It makes you wonder why a Federal prisoner is in a State prison, but that's another type of mistake.

Would it really be considered self-defense, though? After he beat the guys to the ground he could have just stopped and walked away, but he didn't. He kept beating them until they died.

He is defending his wife against two armed assailants, and use of lethal force is allowable. No DA in the United States would even think about pressing charges, knowing full well a grand jury would throw them out in a second.

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