Possible "spoilers", if it's even possible to spoil a film like BEL. This is by far one of the worst war movies I have ever seen, especially in terms of realism. As a former Naval Flight Officer who was stationed on a carrier in the Adriatic in the early 90's, I can say with absolute certainty that this story, the dialogue and just about everything else was complete hogwash. It pains me to think that some hack writer actually got paid big bucks for this script, probably much more than I ever made in full year in the Navy. Anyway, I could obviously point out a million things wrong with this picture, but I'll limit to a few laughers:
First, I flew EA-6B's, not F-18's, but apparently nobody else did. Every EA-6B (and non-F-18) shown in the film was tied down to the flight deck. In fact, I don't recall any other jet being launched or recovered in this film from that carrier deck other than that 2-seat F-18. Back then, the Hornet squadrons on my boat (yes it's a "boat" not a "ship". Only blackshoes called it a ship. Even had a 'shoe Senior Chief "correct" me (a lieutenant) in that regard once. Get real.) only had one seat, one pilot and no navigators/rios. Only Marines flew those D-models. At least they could have used an F-14.
-Some Master Chief running around the boat chastizing an Admiral and telling him what to do/not do. Yeah, right.
-The bad guys are shooting SAM's at our "heroes" who survive quite a while before getting bagged. Only after getting safely on the ground with their big, bright, colorful (!) parachute canopies, do they decide to interrupt the Admiral's meal to tell him a jet's been engaged. Oh, I better get up and see what's going on! That boat would be at General Quarters the minute the first missile was in the air. And missiles, which normally travel at many times the speed of a Hornet in burners, would either hit or miss, not follow you all around the sky. And a search & rescue mission would be in place IMMEDIATELY regardless of what some pseudo-Italian knucklehead who thinks he's in charge says.
-Guys walking around the flight deck with no head/ear protection immediately before, during, and after flight ops? Uh, no. At not playing football either.
-Flight crew (officers) eating meals on the enlisted men's mess decks rather than the dirty-shirt wardroom? I suppose it's technically possible, but are they out of their minds?
-A Navigator/NFO threatening to leave the Navy to go fly for the airlines? Sorry, even if one had a civilian pilot's license (most do NOT) all those backseat hours in the Hornet count for squat in the eyes of the FAA. There are way too many military PILOTS that compete for commercial pilot jobs, that a navigator sure as heck wouldn't get one.
-A downed pilot sitting there in an open field in enemy territory not even making an attempt to hide/evade. The other guy just leaving him there to find higher ground? Didn't you guys learn anything in SERE school? Also, a single fighter going feet dry in potentially hostile territory with no other escort, support aircraft, or SARCAP? Hah!
you get the picture...