What is in this article?:
- HVAC in Popular Movies: Did Hollywood Get It Right?
- 24, Season 5, episodes 12 ("6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.") and 13 ("7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.") (2006)
- The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
- Mission: Impossible (1996)
- Die Hard (1988)
- Adventures of Superman, Season 3, Episode 7: "Olsen's Millions" (1955)
- The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
- Aliens (1986)
- Ocean's Eleven (2001)
- Dr. No (1962)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
- Die Hard 2 (1990)
- No Country for Old Men (2007)
- Entrapment (1999)
- About the author
An engineer and film critic takes a look at 11 movies and three TV series whose makers were not about to let HVAC fundamentals get in the way of a good story.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Based on the television series of the same name, this action spy film stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, who is on a mission to uncover the mole who framed him for the murders of fellow agents. With the help of two disavowed spies (played by Jean Reno and Ving Rhames), Hunt infiltrates CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., to steal sensitive information. In this oft-parodied scene, the wily spook short-circuits the crisscrossed laser beams protecting the ventilation duct with mirrors. As his accomplice (Reno), lowers him into the room by rope and pulley, the ductwork does not so much as flex under their combined 300-pound weight. Even as Hunt falls to within inches of the floor, the duct holds. Meanwhile, the room thermostat is set to alarm at the slightest temperature increase. Although it is hard to see how the room temperature would increase much with the huge exhaust duct, a radiant-temperature sensor would have been much more effective. The government could have saved a lot of money on lasers simply by installing a sheet-metal duct that would collapse under the weight of a man.
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