‘Mission’ statement squeaks past censors

'Impossible' scene is China's oddest product placement

Chinese censors delayed “Mission: Impossible III” for months because of its negative depiction of urban life in Shanghai.

But they missed an even seedier reference in the movie — a genuine cell-phone number spray-painted on a wall that offers to make fake documents.

These services, which supply fake IDs, college degrees or drivers’ licenses, are common in Chinese cities, and the scene has been called the weirdest product placement in local cinema history.

The number is clearly visible over Tom Cruise’s shoulder as he runs past a wall.

Chat room wags say it adds to pic’s authenticity. But the online buzz may alert Chinese censors, and many expect the scene will be cut when the movie is released July 20.

The number appears on pirated copies of the pic, and bloggers have interviewed the man behind the fake document service, “Mr. Ba.”

The movie was originally delayed because authorities feared it made the police look inadequate and because shots of laundry hanging out of windows made the city seem underdeveloped.

More Film

  • NANTUCKET, MA - JUNE 23: (L-R)

    How Long Will TV and Film's Boom Market for Female Stories Last?

    Chinese censors delayed “Mission: Impossible III” for months because of its negative depiction of urban life in Shanghai. But they missed an even seedier reference in the movie — a genuine cell-phone number spray-painted on a wall that offers to make fake documents. These services, which supply fake IDs, college degrees or drivers’ licenses, are […]

  • 'Ideal Home' Review: Steve Coogan, Paul

    Film Review: 'Ideal Home'

    Chinese censors delayed “Mission: Impossible III” for months because of its negative depiction of urban life in Shanghai. But they missed an even seedier reference in the movie — a genuine cell-phone number spray-painted on a wall that offers to make fake documents. These services, which supply fake IDs, college degrees or drivers’ licenses, are […]

  • 'Calibre' Review: A Terrific, Intensely Terrifying

    Edinburgh Film Review: 'Calibre'

    Chinese censors delayed “Mission: Impossible III” for months because of its negative depiction of urban life in Shanghai. But they missed an even seedier reference in the movie — a genuine cell-phone number spray-painted on a wall that offers to make fake documents. These services, which supply fake IDs, college degrees or drivers’ licenses, are […]

  • CHRIS PRATT stars as Owen in

    Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Gnaws on $144 Million Debut Weekend

    Chinese censors delayed “Mission: Impossible III” for months because of its negative depiction of urban life in Shanghai. But they missed an even seedier reference in the movie — a genuine cell-phone number spray-painted on a wall that offers to make fake documents. These services, which supply fake IDs, college degrees or drivers’ licenses, are […]

  • Leung Chiu-wai

    Tony Leung Breaks With Wong Kar-wai’s Jettone (Reports)

    Chinese censors delayed “Mission: Impossible III” for months because of its negative depiction of urban life in Shanghai. But they missed an even seedier reference in the movie — a genuine cell-phone number spray-painted on a wall that offers to make fake documents. These services, which supply fake IDs, college degrees or drivers’ licenses, are […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    ‘Jurassic World’ Holds off ‘Incredibles 2’ in China

    Chinese censors delayed “Mission: Impossible III” for months because of its negative depiction of urban life in Shanghai. But they missed an even seedier reference in the movie — a genuine cell-phone number spray-painted on a wall that offers to make fake documents. These services, which supply fake IDs, college degrees or drivers’ licenses, are […]

  • shanghai skyline China Placeholder

    Regulators Keep Chinese Film Industry in Suspense

    Chinese censors delayed “Mission: Impossible III” for months because of its negative depiction of urban life in Shanghai. But they missed an even seedier reference in the movie — a genuine cell-phone number spray-painted on a wall that offers to make fake documents. These services, which supply fake IDs, college degrees or drivers’ licenses, are […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content