Have I got any action fans out there? I’m sure I do. Alright, I want you to do something for me: think of the quintessential scene from an action movie. Odds are a significant percentage of you thought of what I did – crawling through a ventilation system. A countless number of our beloved heroes use air ducts to free themselves, spy on people, or break into enemy quarters.
Crawling through ventilation or air ducts. What do you think, is it a bit cliché? Maybe. Unrealistic? Definitely, and for so many reasons.
First of all, how easily can you remove the ventilation cover without any tools? Not without peeling back your fingernails, I’m sure. Not to mention how unlikely it would be that the cover would be within reach without equipment like a ladder.
But say we get a break and are able to get into the ventilation system. Any handyman will tell you that in real life they are neither big enough nor sturdy enough to pass through. This is because ducts are designed to carry air, not the couple hundred pounds our hero weighs. Because of this, they make sharp turns which would make them further impractical for a person to navigate through.
And can I just say there’s no way you could use the ducts without getting too dirty to walk through a public place unnoticed? You know it’s true. For that matter, I don’t think you could get through the ducts unnoticed because of all the noise you’d make.
Have you noticed despite how implausible it may be, this scene shows up in movies all the time? Well, you’re not alone. Several industrious, ambitious people have invested some time to compile lists of all the places in popular culture this occurs. Let’s take a look at what they found.
• Toy Story 2
• Lilo and Stitch
• Mr. and Mrs. Smith
• Die Hard (“Now I know what a TV dinner feels like.”)
• Men in Black II
• Resident Evil
• Mission: Impossible
• Several James Bond scenes
• Star Wars
And those are just films. We’ve all also seen them in TV shows like Star Trek, Lost, Burn Notice, The Simpsons, and Smallville. Even the lovable George escapes an unpleasant situation through the vents in Seinfeld. Your kids have even seen it happen in Disney channel shows like The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, Kim Possible, and The Shaggy Dog. Does anyone remember Dexter’s Laboratory? It’s in there, too.
By Jessica Christensen
Enjoyed this article? I thought so. Who doesn’t enjoy reminiscing about cinema? You’re welcome to hear what the writer has to say on other equally engaging topics such as air conditioning units, HVAC do-it-yourself projects, and how to find the best contractor by following Jessica on Google +. Note that if you’re in Salt Lake City, HVAC options are plentiful. And don’t worry; these professionals have a much better idea of how ventilation systems really work than the story writers in so many movies and shows we love.