How Much Does Mission Impossible 4’s Director Love Apple? Let Us Count The Ways


iPhone mission impossible

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.

  • gamburg

    I am going to watch it this weekend!

  • Wong

    @readers:disqus my best friend’s aunt makes $87 an hour on the computer. and last month her pay was $7299 , she learned Kelly Richard’s ways in “Online income solutions”… MakeCash1. com

  • twitter-28439603

    “huge action movies use to be a lot more fun”

    *Used* to be.


  • mactarkus

    I saw it last week and must say it is one of the best action movies I have ever seen.  Heavy use of Apple products was a bonus.

  • TweegyBlink

    The movie was awesome the best part was at the end when all droid users looked at their phones and were upset because they couldn’t do that LOL !!!

  • lawrencejob

    Should have seen the product placement in Wal-E. Pretty sure one of them WAS an Apple computer.

  • Geneva

    This is a good movie . This one is available at
    in English, in HQ quality FREE . Plays like youtube .

    This movie is availabe for free in HD at:


  • ismailkarim23

    but the Apple computer that saved us all was in Independence Day. am i right, am i right? :p

  • little_geeko

    during the sand storm, Ethan hold to a device for navigation which looks very much like a Galaxy Note. And the device fail big time! This movie is 100% pro-apple! =D

  • M-D November

    Well, there wasn’t straight-up Apple product placement in “WALL-E”, but WALL-E’s startup tone was the same as a Mac’s, and the Autopilot on the Axiom used one of MacOS X’s stock text-to-speech voices to generate dialog. So…there’s that.

  • warrengonline

    The Mission is simple..  Send in Apple iDevices to get the job done.

  • Luke Turner

    someone please email me at the case they used for the macbook air and the iPad please!! 

  • Mark Solomon

    If it were possible to save an Emilio Estevez performance using a MacBook Air, nearly every film director he’s ever worked with would request a crateful from the producers.

    There are baseball bats capable of greater dramatic range. 

  • InO Burger

    that’s right; indeed in 1996, Apple placed their product in ID:4 as well as the 1st M:I movie. Apple prominently ran a promotion/contest featuring the PowerBook in M:I, and remember seeing one-sheet posters with the Apple logo in the credits, as well as a separate promotional poster for said contest.

    I think in one of the Apple campus offices the originial M:I poster hangs, along side with “Mission To Save The World’ contest poster.

  • Aaron

    Yep, a PowerBook 5300. I had one and the only way it could save the world was very s-l-o-w-l-y.  :)  (No CPU cache on that model made it exceptionally slow.)

  • Taxpaying Citizen

    I’m dying to know the iPad case Pegg used about the midpoint of the film. It almost looked like a MAGPUL iphone case, but iPad made. Any ideas?

  • AMonkeyInMyPocket

    Couldn’t do what? I’m so tired of stupid fanboi comments that don’t make any sense…

  • Damien Lobb

    All that shit was CGI FYI.
    In most cases Droids would have a bigger chance of doing more complex things as every single piece of hardware is available to developers.

  • Enriko Lucas Menzies


    No stock smartphone–Apple products included–can do any of the things they were doing in that movie. Disagree? Find me those apps in the App Store.

    I can easily bet you any “droid user” in the audience merely scoffed at the product placement and thought nothing of it later.

    If you’re going to be a fanboy, at least do us a favor and try not to look the part. 

  • Tom Madsen
  • Nic Clinkenbeard Mortimer

    These were the cases used throughout the movie.

  • Nic Clinkenbeard Mortimer

    This is the maker of the cases used on all of the macs.

  • MJ4Ev3r

    Hahaha!  Here’s to the simple, yet undeniable TRUTH:

    As? SJ said “simplicity is the ULTIMATE


  • McKenzie Atwood

    Note that in the movie, almost ALL of the technology broke and everything went wrong, too…

  • lawrencejob

    Well, there wasn’t straight-up Apple product placement in “WALL-E”, but WALL-E’s startup tone was the same as a Mac’s, and the Autopilot on the Axiom used one of MacOS X’s stock text-to-speech voices to generate dialog. So…there’s that.

    There was an actual iPod in it, for one..