Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol hits theaters everywhere tomorrow. Surprisingly, the movie actually got really good reviews and is positioned to be one of the top movies of the holiday season. We went and watched the film this weekend at IMAX and enjoyed the dose of big-budget popcorn entertainment that reminded us how huge action movies used to be a lot more fun than the annoying and cringe-worthy action flicks that hit the screen en masse nowadays. Thanks a lot Michael Bay.
The success of Mission Impossible 4 shouldn’t come as a huge surprise though to anyone who is familiar with the director Brad Bird. Having worked at Pixar for a number of years, Bird has directed popular films such as The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, and The Incredibles, as well as leading the creative teams behind Toy Story 3 and Up. Being a Pixar alum, Bird had the opportunity to work with Steve Jobs and remarks that, “he wasn’t about making something that was going to be cool next week, he was about making something that was going to be cool 100 years from now.”
As a fan of Apple, Bird places Apple products throughout his newest movie and uses them as tools for Ethan Hunt and his team to do some really awesome stuff. Here’s some of the coolest uses of Apple technology in Mission Impossible 4 (we’ll try and keep the spoilers at a minimum).
Lock Picking – Throughout the movie Ethan and Benji Dunn use their iPhone 4 to unlock doors. Thanks to a special attachment case for the iPhone, Cruise inserts a card-sized attachment into card reader slots. The iPhone then figures out the code to hack into the door lock granting nearly instant access to hotel rooms and government offices containing nuclear launch codes.
Hacking From a MacBook Air – It’s the thinnest and lightest portable on the planet yet it packs the power of a full-fledged computer, so of course it’s the laptop of choice for tech guru Benji and the IMF team. I guarantee you if Emilio Esteevez had a MacBook Air in the first Mission Impossible he wouldn’t have died in that elevator shaft.
Facial Recognition Scanners – Facial recognition cameras have been done before, so how does Bird take it to the next level? He places a computerized contact lens on the eye of one of the IMF agents and has it work in tandem with the iPhone to do facial recognition scans of a massive crowd of people. The contact lens is connected to the agent’s iPhone and discreetly scans faces in the crowd to find a match for the person they’re looking for. Later on the lens even sends a push notification to the iPhone notifying the agent of a hostile assassin.
iPad Reality Distortion Field – When you’re breaking into a high-security compound you have to keep casualties at a minimum. To deceive a security guard, the IMF team uses an iPad connected to projector and screen to create a Reality Distortion Field. The iPad is used to handle all of the computing, while a camera tracks the eye movements of a security guard so that a life-like image can be projected on a screen that blocks the IMF team from view. It sounds complex, and it is…but it’s totally awesome and you should probably check it out.
Of course Apple is no stranger to product placement in movies. Apple products were featured in 24 of the top movies from 2010, but no movie has used Apple’s technology to as many ridiculously awesome things as the Impossible Mission Force uses them in Mission Impossible 4.