The Final Countdown

Plot hole: While still unsure where and when they are, the Nimitz has two F-14 Tomcats aloft, investigating a pair of low-altitude radar contacts. They determine the planes are WWII-vintage Japanese Zeros in full military livery. The Tomcats are told to shadow the Zeros without engaging them. Then, the Captain, the XO, the CAG and Lasky all go to a formal dining room and sit down to tea. In this scene, they talk about many other 1941-era things that are happening, but nobody mentions the Zeros. That fact, and that they left their Tomcats where they did, suggests this scene was meant to be in an earlier part of the film (when things seemed odd, but no imminent threat existed) and got moved here, creating a plot hole that the USS Nimitz could slide through sideways. US Navy nuclear carrier command staff wouldn't simply go have tea under the current conditions. (00:40:30)

johnrosa

Plot hole: If the captain's plan was to stop the attack on Pearl Harbour the next day, it makes no sense to attack 335 Japanese Zeroes flying in waves. It would be better to simply sink the six aircraft carriers before the planes took off.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Sinking the carriers would be an act of war since they hadn't done anything other than sail close to Hawaii in international waters. He had to wait for them to actually begin performing a hostile act. Knowing what they will do doesn't change that they hadn't done it yet.

jimba

Factual error: Listening to a radio broadcast, live, since no other indication is given, Joe Louis is completing the 12th round of a fight. This is December 6, 1941. Joe's last fight of 1941 occurred in September, his next fight was January 1942. (00:00:10)

More mistakes in The Final Countdown

Captain Yelland: If the United States falls under attack our job is to defend her in the past, present and future.
Lasky: And after that?
Captain Yelland: After that, we take our orders from the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces.
Lasky: Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

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Trivia: For the memorable confrontation between two Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zeroes and two American F-14 Tomcats, a trial flyby was close enough that powerful air turbulence from the passing jets violently threw both Zeroes out of control for a few seconds, like toys. The lead Zero pilot even lost his wristwatch and communications headset, which were vacuumed out of the open canopy. Out of radio contact for several seconds, the condition of the Zero pilots was unknown. Camera angles and distances between all the aircraft were modified so as not to further endanger the Zeroes for the final take as seen in the film.

Charles Austin Miller

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Question: After going through the first storm they lose track of the incoming plane they set the barricade up for. The after a minute the plane lands and the pilot is brought in by stretcher. The commander looks at the young inexperienced pilot like something was wrong. Why did the director choose to do that? I think the pilot aged but they took it out of the movie for time or something else. Any ideas?

Answer: First, he had a look of concern for the young pilot under his command. Second, he is also confused as to what exactly happened. They believe it was a first strike weapon, that the world was ending.

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