Behind Enemy Lines

Question: What was Lokar hiding? And why did he want to keep it a secret?

Answer: Lokar was conducting a genocidal campaign against the Bosniak population, a severe war crime. The photos of the mass grave would have exposed him.


Question: Who was the real commander of the Serbian army when O'Grady was stranded behind enemy lines?

Answer: "Lokar" might be based on real-life Željko "Arkan" Ražnatović, commander of Serb Volunteer Guard.

Question: How would the United States charge Lokar for his crimes even if he was exposed? He's not an American citizen.

Answer: He would be charged as an International War Criminal. Bosnian war criminals were charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, a body of the United Nations.


Question: Is Lokar based on a real person?

Answer: No, he's a fictional character, but could be a composite of multiple people.

raywest Premium member

I don't what you mean by a composite of multiple people.

Taking plot-relevant characteristics, behaviour, roles, etc. of a few different real life people and putting them all into one new character. While technically fictional, he might share traits with real people.

Question: If the movie is based on the experiences of Scott O'Grady, why didn't the filmmakers use his story, instead of making a story that's almost completely fiction?

Answer: Filmmakers have greater artistic licence doing a fictional story inspired by a real-life person's experience rather than portraying actual facts. This allows them to embellish details and/or create whatever story they wish to tell that is grounded in reality. There would also be legal issues of depicting real people (other than O'Grady) in the film.

raywest Premium member

Question: How did Burnett kill Sasha with a flare? Did he just really stab as hard as he could? Or is there a sharp part to a flare?

Answer: With enough physical impact in a vulnerable spot, a flare could penetrate flesh and/or cause fatal blunt force injuries.

raywest Premium member

Question: Can anyone explain what happened to Stackhouse when he ejected? I understand that he injured his leg. How did that happen? Is it actually possible?

Answer: The two seats collided in midair before their chutes opened and Stackhouse yelled, "ow!" Not realistic because in the 5 seconds it took for the second pilot to eject they would have been far apart.

But you see his leg get injured before his leaves the jet. I think the original question refers to how did that happen.

Ssiscool Premium member

The injury to Stackhouse's leg was from a pen attached to his knee pad. When watched in slow motion, you see it disintegrate and somehow throw shrapnel into his leg. It makes little sense, I believe it was merely a plot point to make Stackhouse unable to travel out of harm's way. This prompted Burnett to leave him unattended for the bad guys to find him as he went to higher ground to get better reception on the PRC-90.

Answer: It is possible that he has done of one two things. Banged his leg on something inside the cockpit causing it to break, or landed too hard on his way down. It is common for people to break limbs when parachuting/sky diving. It is possible that his bones were just not up to withstanding the force which he incurred.


Or a piece of shrapnel from the jet breaking apart cut his leg.

Question: During the missile scene, dropping fuel tanks causes the tanks to explode. Wouldn't that be impossible in real life?

Answer: Totally impossible. You can throw a lit cigarette into a pool of jet fuel and it won't ignite.


Question: Rather than leaving Stackhouse behind in the area where the Serbians could find him, wouldn't it have made more sense for Burnette to pick Stackhouse up, and help him get up the hill?

Answer: Because in escape and evasion, as opposed to combat, you are taught to get away from where you have landed as fast as possible. And Stackhouse probably believed his pilot would be treated humanely under the Geneva Convention.


Answer: Stackhouse is badly hurt. Burnett would have known better than to move him. Plus, with the way he speaks to Stackhouse it's clear they weren't expecting company so quickly.

Ssiscool Premium member

So what if Stackhouse has an injured leg, why not just help in him walk? Soldiers in combat help their follow soldiers walk when they have injured legs.

Question: What was that big ball of flames that broke the jet in half?

Answer: Watching the scene it is the rest of the missile finally exploding causing the jet to split in half.

Ssiscool Premium member

Question: The SAM missiles continuously chases the fighter jet for a few minutes. In reality, don't SAM missiles only contain enough fuel to fly for about 5 to 10 seconds?

Answer: Surface-to-air missiles come in 3 ranges (long range, medium, and short). Long range missile have a range of 100-150 km (there are some very long ranged missiles that can go up to 400 km). Short range missiles go about 3 km. SAM's are faster than Air-to-Air missiles and can travel around Mach 3 and up to Mach 8, with some that can go faster (so about 1 - 2.7 km/s) I don't know what kind of SAM was used, but long range SAM's are fired from a fixed or semi-movable position and medium ranged SAM's can be fired from vehicle mounted systems.


A behind enemy lines goof from IMDb, says that no missile is capable of chasing the F/A-18 as it is portrayed in the movie. A missiles rocket motor only holds enough fuel for one pass at a target. I don't know if you agree with it or not.

I would disagree with the statement that it wouldn't have enough fuel. However, even after a missile runs out of fuel it can still glide to its target at supersonic speeds for a time. I do think the portrayal of the chase scene is overly dramatic in Hollywood fashion though, particularly for the first SAM fired.


According to the trivia of the film the missile used was a 9m37m missile.

In that case the scene is completely Hollywood and unrealistic. The 9m37m is a short range missile, even though it's vehicle mounted, and has a max range of 5 km and doesn't even reach Mach 2. When the 2nd missile is fired we hear one of the pilots say "3 miles and closing", meaning the SAM shouldn't have been able to catch up to them or chase them down. The film makers probably wanted something cool looking without considering (or caring) what they had or may not have access to a midrange SAM system and pretended it was one.


But don't long range missiles lack the ability to turn fast enough to follow and chase a jet due to the weight of the amount of fuel they carry?

Question: Why did heat seeking missiles go after the fireball created by fuel instead of the fighter jet? I thought heat seeking missiles went after specific infrared frequencies, and specific temperatures.

Answer: Modern heat seekers are indeed designed to go after certain frequencies in order to better bypass countermeasures. It is still a pretty common Hollywood convention that heat seekers go after the hottest heat source in the area. Part of this is due to audience expectation, as the average viewer might not be aware of modern missile technology and would wonder the opposite of your question: why a heat seeker wouldn't go after a huge explosion that is hotter than a jet. It must also be noted that no system is perfect and in real world situations heat seeking missiles are still prone to be pulled off course by countermeasures, so it isn't entirely unrealistic.


Question: I've noticed a correction that says Burnett and Stack-house didn't expect any troops to find them. Why? They would have known that if the bad guys fired a missile, they would be watching the missile and the jet to see if they ejected in case the missile successfully hit it. They also would have known that in case that the bad guys would watch to see if they parachuted, and then track them if did their parachutes were successfully deployed, shoot at them while they went down, and then check to see where they landed to make sure their dead. So why didn't Burnett and Stack-house expect the enemy troops to find them?

Answer: Because they were being chased by the missile all over the place, so it would have been difficult for the Serbs to keep track of the missile and the jet. Plus they were so busy being chased by the missile they probably didn't where they were when the missile hit them.

I meant why didn't they expect anything or anybody to find them?

Question: Why does Reigart take orders from Piquet? He would have the right to not take orders from him, even in NATO since they are both from different navies.

Answer: If the task force is joint and under certain conditions then the command structure is set. Overruling an order would require removing the senior officer from the task force and replacing them with another who would be reissued the order. For many situations this is too cumbersome and political.

Answer: It doesn't matter if they're in different navies. If their military are officially allied in some way, as in NATO then Piquet is the ranking officer and Reigart is obligated to obey.

raywest Premium member

Even so ranking officers in NATO who are not from the US only have limited authority over admirals who are from the US navy. For example, in NATO a foreign three star admiral can give orders to a two star American admiral but a three star American admiral can overrule those orders.

In NATO, Reigart is not required by law to obey Piquet If Piquet is from another navy. In order for Reigart required by law to obey, Piquet has to be a member of the US navy, and he's not.

Question: What were the Serbians' motives for killing the citizens in Bosnia? Why did they hate them?

Answer: It was primarily religious and cultural difference. Serbians are primarily Orthodox Christian, Croatians are mostly Catholic, and Bosnians are majority Muslim.

Greg Dwyer

Question: Shouldn't Piquet have been punished for his bad attitude towards rescue missions, and for only caring about the peace treaty?

Answer: It's a matter of perspective. Piquet was interested in keeping the peace treaty, and therefore saving thousands of lives, more than he was interested in the two pilots.

Greg Dwyer

Why does piquet think sending a rescue a rescue mission would cause the peace treaty to collapse? The US military has sent hundreds of rescue missions, and not one of them has ever caused a peace treaty to collapse.

Answer: Prosecution by war crimes tribunals and a new start to the war.

Greg Dwyer

Answer: Because what they were doing is considered a war crime. Hard to get the world to support your cause when you are committing genocide.

What did the Serbs fear would happen if people found out what they were doing?

Question: Why didn't Lokar have his men burn the bodies if he wanted to avoid being exposed?

Answer: Burning large piles of bodies is time consuming, laborious, and may actually draw more attention than simply leaving them in mass graves.


Besides, it's difficult to destroy a body, even by burning it.

Question: In the missile scene, the missile goes head on with the jet, and Stackhouse almost dodges it. Wouldn't Stackhouse have had no time to react given how fast missiles are?

Answer: By judging the times correctly he would have stood a chance of dodging it. Albeit a very slim chance.

Ssiscool Premium member

Question: There are two scenes I don't understand 1. Burnett goes through a minefield, and then one of the enemy troops accidentally sets the mines off, Burnett starts running through the minefield, and much of the exposing debris. 2. Burnett is in a shop which is fired on. He appears to be close to a shell impact. If one of these scenarios were to happen as shown in the movie, wouldn't Burnett have been seriously injured if not dead?

Answer: 1. What Burnett encountered was actually an alley filled with trip wires, not mines. The explosives on the trip wires all happened to be along the sides of the alley rather then the center. That debris you saw was from the explosives being detonated from a chain reaction. 2. The shell was from a T-72 tank. It was fired at the mall and pierced the outer wall and continued to travel through the shop upon exploding at the far end. It appears that it at the very least heavily shook Burnett and there is evidence to suggest he received some minor wounds to his head via some facial abrasions.

What I meant was shouldn't Burnett have received major injuries?

Continuity mistake: The three Marine helicopters leaving the carrier are three UH1N Marine model helicopters. When they arrive in Bosnia to rescue the downed Navy pilot the same helicopters become two Bell model 205C and a Bell 412. When landing back on the carrier with the rescued pilot, they are again N models. (01:26:50)

More mistakes in Behind Enemy Lines

Admiral Reigart: Let's go get our boy back.

More quotes from Behind Enemy Lines

Trivia: The Sky News reporter character in the movie is in fact Aernout Van Lynden, who was a real war correspondent with over twenty years of experience in the Middle East and the Balkans.


More trivia for Behind Enemy Lines

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