Showing posts from November, 2023

Mission Unphysical

In a famous scene from the first of Tom Cruise's  Mission Impossible  movies, disavowed CIA agent Franz Krieger uses a harness, a carabiner, and four pulleys (one of them is arguably better called a "pushey") and rope to lower agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) through the ceiling of a room at CIA headquarters in order to steal something. It's a fun and suspenseful scene to watch, but here I want to talk about how silly this pulley system is. Franz is lying down in a narrow air duct above the vent through which he is lowering Ethan. The vent is near his feet, and he's slowly releasing line through a pulley (kept out of sight) that is mounted above him, and closer to the hole. From that pulley, the line comes back toward him, through a pulley that is attached with a carabiner to a harness on his chest. The line then goes back toward the hole, but up again to a different (visible) high-mounted pulley, then it descends toward the hole and over a "pushey" mounted