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Towards the beginning of the film Mission: Impossible, the first person on the team to die is Jack. He's on top of the elevator when it starts uncontrollably accelerating towards the top of the shaft. As it reaches the top, some sort of machinery unfolds, causing Jack to be impaled.

What is this machinery? Is it something made up for the movie or is it common equipment at the top of elevators?

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It's not part of the elevator, it's some kind of folding blade thing. The point (sorry) is just to show that it is actually a trap, and Jack just hasn't lost control of the elevator by chance.

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