Basic (2003)

33 mistakes

Factual error: When the Ranger trainees first meet Samuel L. Jackson, he's wearing the rank of a Specialist on his collars even though he's a Master Sergeant. Title 18, Chapter 33 of the US code prevents the unauthorized wear of a military uniform (among other things), however this does not automatically correct the mistake since a common misconception is that one slight alteration is sufficient to make the uniform legal. Having the wrong rank on is too obvious of an alteration, especially for anybody who has spent more than a day in or around the Army and would still be punishable by law, if he was dressed in an attempt to fool your average citizen outside of a movie.

Other mistake: When Connie Nielsen is driving the Hummer (with John as the passenger), the steering wheel doesn't move, but her hands do.

Continuity mistake: When Osborne shoots Col. Styles through the door window she aims upwards even though Styles is sitting at his desk.


Factual error: What's up with Nunez? A female soldier is not permitted to be a Ranger in the US Army, let alone take part in a combat FTX.

Continuity mistake: In the flashback scene where Sgt. West enters the bunker and grabs Castro, Nunez, Kendall and the real (black) Dunbar aim at West. Castro then says something like: "Gun down, PIKE.". Though the real Pike stands besides not holding a gun. At this point of the movie, it's already revealed that Pike took Dunbar's dogtag.

Continuity mistake: When Hardy and Osborne argue about their beliefs and motives, at some point Osborne tells Hardy her phone number. Hardy's arms are hanging down, but when the camera angle changes he is holding on to a beam above his head.


Factual error: In the scene after Capt. Osborne shoots Col Styles, a couple of Army personnel ask her three questions then she is allowed to leave. This would never happen. First, she would be interviewed for quite some time and this would be documented (i.e.She would have to complete a written statement). She would have to surrender her weapon for testing and evidence. Mental Health personnel from a military hospital would interview her. Lastly she would be relieved of duty for at least three days.

Continuity mistake: When the woman and John Travolta get into the Hummer to go to the hospital, there is a car parked in front of them, but she pulls straight off and begins driving. She doesn't cut the wheel at all.

Other mistake: In John Travolta's scenes with the HUMVEE, all external shots are of a hard-door version, but the interior shots are of one with soft doors and zip down windows.

Continuity mistake: After Hardy storms out of the interrogation room he goes outside. Osborne and Hardy begin to talk under a wooden shelter and Hardy lights up a cigarette then looks briefly at Osborne, but in the following shot his back is to Hardy and is facing the camera.


Revealing mistake: In one of the flashback scenes at the "bunker", a number of the shots fired pierce the sheet metal roof. When they show these holes, you can see fairly bright light coming through. This scene was supposed to be in the jungle during the night. There shouldn't be light streaming in; moonlight is not that bright. It was obviously artificial light used to enhance the scene.

Continuity mistake: Close to the beginning when Samuel L Jackson is on top of the hill, and is talking to Pike, when it cuts to close views of Pike, you can see that Samuel is kneeling very close to him because you can see his rain coat, and his hands, yet when it cuts to Samuel he is standing up.


Factual error: The Ranger beret should be tan. The Rangers used to wear black berets but switched to tan berets after the rest of Army changed from patrol caps to black berets in 2001. And I doubt that Rangers take their berets out on FTXs.


Visible crew/equipment: In the scene with Hardy and the Colonel, in the Colonel's office where they share a drink and the Colonel gets shot, you can see a stage light outside the window as Hardy gets off the phone during the first shot. You can see the light and the gel-frame, looks to be a 5k HMI type light. (DVD)

Continuity mistake: When John Travolta and Connie Nielson are arriving at the hospital to visit Giovanni Ribisi, John Travolta puts his jacket down on the seat, yet when they enter the hospital, he has his jacket on.


Continuity mistake: At the beginning of the film, when the soldier carries a wounded soldier across his shoulder, he gets to the bottom of a grassy hill. In the overhead shot, the soldier is down on the ground, and in the close-up shot, he is just putting him down on the ground, also now there is no hill from where they just came down from.


Continuity mistake: When they're interviewing Levi for the last time (right before he dies) you see a close-up shot of his ear and blood spilling out of it. In the very next shot you see his entire face and neck, but the blood from his ear is gone.

Continuity mistake: After Ribisi dies and Nielson stops and looks at the confession written by the other Ranger. Travolta asks what and she holds up the note. Before the other Ranger wrote on a yellow paper with large print, but she holds up a note on white paper with really small print.

Joel Amos Gordon

Continuity mistake: Just before Hardy enters the room where Dunbar is sitting, he is telling Osborne what to say when the time is right. In the first shot she is leaning against the door frame on her right arm, the shot changes and she is leaning with her left arm, then back to her right.


Revealing mistake: There is a scene where Travolta is holding a prisoner up to a spinning airplane propeller to force him to reveal information. This is supposedly taking place in a pouring rainstorm. But during one of the close-ups, you can see that no rain is falling on Travolta's jacket. The jacket is wet, but no raindrops are falling on it.