The phrase "broken arrow" is not actually used to refer to the theft, loss or seizure of nuclear weapons or components from the U.S.;that's known as an "empty quiver". A "broken arrow" is defined by CJCSI 3150.03B, Joint Reporting Structure Event and Incident Reports, as a US nuclear weapon accident that does not create the risk of a nuclear war.
Oliver Wood was considered to be the film's director of photography, but he was unable to take the job, due to the broken ankle he sustained while shooting Cutthroat Island (1995). He was replaced by Peter Levy (who had also replaced him on Cutthroat Island). Director John Woo later picked Wood to shoot his next film, Face/Off (1997).
The review of this movie on Siskel & Ebert (1986) represents the only time in history where Roger Ebert convinced Gene Siskel to change his mind about his final judgement of a film. Siskel originally gave this movie thumbs-up, but after Ebert gave the movie thumbs-down and explained his reasoning, Siskel decided to change his judgement to thumbs-down. Siskel, on the other hand, had never successfully convinced Ebert to change his mind about a movie during an episode of their show, although Ebert had occasionally changed his own mind in print reviews.
Just like John Woo's first US movie Hard Target (1993), this film also suffered from similar problems with re-cuts forced by studio interference and ratings problems caused by MPAA. According to some sources, studio interference on this movie was even bigger than the one on Hard Target (1993).
Howie Long's character was originally supposed to be killed off earlier in the picture, but when Fox execs saw the dailies and liked his performance, his role was quickly expanded so he could be in the whole movie.
According to "Trains" Magazine, the train chase scene was actually filmed on the Shortline Montana Western, which of course is not in Utah or Colorado. There is no real rail company called "National Regional."
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
One of two John Travolta and John Woo films, the first being this film and the second being Face/Off (1997) made a year after. In both films Travolta played the villain. But in Face/off he also played the hero opposite Nicolas Cage before their roles were reversed and then Cage played the hero and Travolta played the villain.