Ridiculous Stereotypes: Hollywood Movie Bloopers with Russian Vehicles, Weapons and Equipment

Ridiculous Stereotypes: Hollywood Movie Bloopers with Russian Vehicles, Weapons and Equipment

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Correct presentation of facts about Russia is probably a very challenging task for the American film industry. Russian-born characters in Hollywood movies usually utter a meaningless string of words and sometimes have absolutely illegible names in their passports (like a Russian named Ащьф ЛШТШФУМ in The Bourne Identity).

While the nonsense in Cyrillic and Russian phrases in a “Google Translate” style will be certainly not lost on Russian speakers, goofs with Russian-made vehicles, weapons and equipment may go unnoticed. Find below a collection of funny Hollywood movie bloopers with vehicles, weapons and equipment made by Rostec’s companies.

The “Top Gun” fights with a “top secret” MiG-28

Top Gun starring Tom Cruise was released in 1986. The main character Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell – a student of the top US Navy School - flies the F-14 Tomcat and fights with a secret MiG-28.

The only thing is that such aircraft did never existed in the USSR. There were MiG-27 and MiG-25, but not a “28”. It should be noted that even the designation “MiG-28” is not typical of MiG Company that assigns odd numbers to its fighter models.

However, MiG-28 in the movie was inspired by MiG-29 which was a secret fighter in those days. Americans were not aware what the aircraft actually looked like, but the Hollywood screenwriters’ imagination was of help and gave birth to MiG-28. One can easily take these black fighters with red stars for the US Northrop F-5. 

F-5E _MiG-28_ movie -1.jpg
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Rambo and a Soviet model 1943 grenade launcher

Rambo: First Blood Part II is one of the first American action movies watched by the post-Soviet audience. Such iconic movie may be forgiven even for the most amusing bloopers.

Rambo and his female friend are in a boat, he has an AKM gun. It is evident that one assault rifle is not enough to meet bad guys. Then someone shows Rambo a Soviet grenade launcher box with the following inscription in Russian: “Патроны обр. 1943 года. Калибр 7,62 мм” (“Model 1943 Cartridges. Cal. 7.62mm”).


It is clear that the authors have just copied the label from an ammunition box in the hope, as usual, that the American audience will not understand this.  However, a suspicion may arise in this case regardless of the knowledge of Russian – everybody understands numbers. It is clear that 7.62mm can’t be a grenade launcher caliber. RPG-2 caliber is 40mm. You don’t need a ruler to see that this is a wrong size.

American Made: “famous” “КАЛАСХНИКОВ” assault rifles

Kalashnikov assault rifle has often appeared in the hands of various movie characters both in Russian and in Hollywood movies. The gun was particularly focused on in Lord of War where a character played by Nicolas Cage described it as follows: “It's the world's most popular assault rifle. A weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple 9 pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood. It doesn't break, jam, or overheat. It'll shoot whether it's covered in mud or filled with sand. It's so easy, even a child can use it; and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag.”

The much-talked-about movie was continued in American Made (2017) starring Tom Cruise. The late 1970s, the cold war is in full swing, commercial airline pilot Barry Seal becomes a director of a so called “Aviation Development Center” and flies reconnaissance missions at the enemy’s disposition using the world’s fastest twin-engine aircraft. Certainly, it didn’t stop with mere reconnaissance – very soon he was asked to start delivering Kalashnikov assault rifles to “good” rebels. 

But here, as is usual in Hollywood, all Russian grammar rules were broken – we don’t know what is in Seal’s box, but the inscription “КАЛАСХНИКОВ” is a little embarrassing. 


Mistakes in Gravity: Shvabe’s optical alignment sight and its “ЗКРАН”

Over the past half century, alignment sights designed and manufactured by the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant (UOMP), as part of Shvabe Holding, have been used in space. This device helps spacecraft pilots to perform docking operations. The optical alignment sight is regarded to be more reliable and fail-safe as compared with video cameras mounted outside the spacecraft. VSK4 optical alignment sight has successfully become a part of mainstream culture. In Oscar-winning Gravity, main character Ryan Stone played by Sandra Bullock uses a Russian device with an icon attached to it. Everything is going well despite some obvious oddities about it. For example, one should look through a “ЗКРАН” with letter “З”, rather than through a “экран” (screen), and the optical sight handles are changing their positions by themselves all the time.

However, Stone is also incredibly lucky with other Russian-made space equipment. For example, sha is an active user of a Sokol space suit which is not intended for spacewalking. Moreover, the movie-version space suit has a removable helmet. Stone easily puts the space suits off and on all the time, though it is not the easiest process at all. And the climax of this space madness is when Sandra Bullock flies a fire extinguisher in outer space just like a cartoon character Wall-E.

Photo: Warner Bros.

The Fast and the Furious in Russian winter conditions or Niva ice racing

The eighth installment of the iconic Fast & Furious blockbuster was released in 2017. The plot of the new installment is not lacking in cool action sequences. The main characters are racing virtually everywhere. The filmmakers even managed to send them to Russia in a town of Vladivin.

The trip to Russia was traditionally not free from bloopers. To start from the most obvious one: in winter in northern Russia, it is impossible to walk bareheaded wearing an open coat and, moreover, drive race cars on ice without snow tires. Hollywood directors are probably unaware that we have strict rules around here – not only winter tires are necessary, but also sign “Ш” attached to the rear window.


The superheroes’ race cars are chased by Russian-made Niva’s. Moreover, there are designations “ВВС России” (Russian Air Force), plate numbers in Latin F-501 and F-473 on the cars and the inscription “Снимаемая секция” (Removable section) above the headlights. It is unclear what can be removed in the car, except for a radiator grille.  The inscription was most likely copied from some Soviet vehicle. And the most amazing thing is when a collision occurs with one Niva during the chase and you can see the sky through the radiator grille. Thus, the audience can find out that the off-road vehicle has neither an engine nor a transmission and a propeller shaft.