Mission Implausible

Implausible Movie Moments

Have you ever wondered if it’s actually possible to survive a nuclear explosion by hiding in a fridge, or to make the jump from a crane into a burning skyscraper?

Mission Implausible breaks down some of the most far-fetched scenes from iconic action films, looking at which are feasible and which Die Hard.

Click inside to see what our industry experts think is possible.

(2018)

Will Sawyer climbs to the top of a crane and swings across to the cabin, using the metal bars beneath the crane like money bars. He then manoeuvres the crane arm so it's angled at a burning skyscraper. He runs down the arm and jumps off the end, landing inside the skyscraper, before sliding out and clinging to the window ledge.

Is It Possible?

How likely is it that an amputee could safely swing between metal bars without falling? Would an amputee be able to make the jump, even with the character's prosthetic leg?

Skyscraper 1
Skyscraper 2

How Did they do it?

The scene was filmed using a combination of practical shots, green screen and special effects. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber built a super-crane structure which Dwayne Johnson then ran down while attached to a gimbal wire. Once Johnson jumped off the end, the wire projected him into the air. Special effects were then used to include the building in the Hong Kong skyline and add the fire.

“In terms of how able he'd be to swing between the bars on the crane, it would be heavily dependent on how long he'd had to recover after amputation, as many patients build up strength in upper limbs to compensate for their loss of lower limb function. If he was a long standing amputee and had adequate upper body strength, he could monkey bar across quite easily. Some amputees rock climb, so it’s possible he could have climbed the crane, but I’d have expected him to use his good leg more and use the prosthetic to stabilise himself.

"Running across the crane in this scene is the unrealistic element here, because of how carefully he'd have to place his feet. Many people do run with prostheses, but new amputees often take a while to walk unaided and can find running challenging. I don’t think the prosthetic would have affected the jump as he landed gripping the side of the building, not on his feet. In my experience, though, learning those skills again takes a long time for amputees and doesn’t come easily.”

Beth Williams

NHS Occupational Therapist