REVIEW: ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The movie: “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.” Premiere date: Friday, July 31, 2015. Director: Christopher McQuarrie. Your mission, should you accept it, is to tolerate not only a punctuation-heavy title, but also embrace two hours of anticipated action and thrills with a continuing minimal focus on character.After being officially disavowed and forced to work off the grid in “Ghost Protocol” (2011), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his fellow Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agents now find themselves in a similarly precarious position. While “Rogue Nation” followed the basic premise consistent in previous “Mission: Impossible” films, the fifth installment successfully delivered–almost celebrated, really–the continuation of Cruise’s over-the-top action scenes.Look no further than the highly promoted plane scene in which Cruise–and the film’s three producers–try to move the needle yet again, perhaps hoping it’d be enough to push an already adrenaline-fueled generation of moviegoers to the edge of their seats. While watching Cruise dangle off the side of an aircraft as it rocketed off a runway did indeed provoke my anxieties of commercial flying, the high-octane scene, despite the marketing attention it has received, is given only five minutes of screen time. Alongside a high-speed car/motorcycle chase and an underwater sequence, fans old and new are treated to a revived tension (the “vault scene” from the original film, for example) that has been noticeably absent from previous installments.Still, for all its action and even some creative gadgets and weaponry, the lack of originality in the premise was disappointing. No amount of action or tension saved the climax, which fell flat in comparison to the rest of the film. The fault, I felt, was a lack of focus on the characters.This time around, Ethan Hunt had his sanity toyed with. McQuarrie took a different approach to him that made me slightly more appreciative of the direction the protagonist could go. But for the most part, Hunt seems to have become some kind of fusion between the classy James Bond and the intense Tom Cruise.Following Hunt are some returning characters as well as some new faces. Fellow agents Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), and Will Brandt (Jeremy Renner) return with entertaining, humorous, and couple-like banter. Alec Baldwin joins the cast as the strict and self-righteous CIA director Alan Hunley, but the spotlight for the supporting characters was almost entirely stolen by badass sidekick Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).Though she matched Hunt in almost every way, Faust presumably joined a long list of replaceable, underdeveloped and unappreciated female leads in the Mission series. Faust was complex, and her motivations and goals were understandable. She and Hunt share a deeper connection, which strengthened their dynamic. As an added bonus, the connection wasn’t romantic! Interestingly, Faust made for a more compelling antagonist than the mysterious and al-Qaeda-like shadow organization called the Syndicate.The main villain, Syndicate leader Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), was creepy but not a memorable evildoer. The Syndicate was made up of dozens of rogue IMF agents, but our heroes seem to believe that taking down Lane would shut the whole thing down. As Hunt and his crew clearly didn’t learn from history, eradicating an organization, especially one trained in your own tactics, is not that simple.Like its predecessors, “Rogue Nation” punched, kicked, shot and exploded its way into theaters across the nation. The action took priority, which pleased fans expecting that nostalgic familiarity, but sacrificed a fifth opportunity for some originality.last_img read more

Credit Union partners to help local schools

first_imgThe USC Credit Union has recently partnered with Yoobi, a classroom supply company that donates to a local school after one of their items is purchased.The partnership is the brainchild of alumna Samantha Paxson, who is currently on the board of the USC Credit Union and is the chief marketing officer of CO-OP Financial Services. Paxson, who graduated from USC in 1997 with a dual degree in broadcast journalism and social sciences, stated that her background in journalism has been a major influence on how she has approached her own career and how she pursues potential partnerships like the one with Yoobi.“What I’ve gained from my journalism degree and all of that background is the idea of storytelling,” Paxson said. “I’m very passionate about storytelling and the intersection of storytelling, creativity, innovation and purpose.”According to Paxson, when she first heard about Yoobi’s products and their philanthropic aims, she immediately thought about how they could benefit the USC community.“It got me thinking, — USC is in a community that is surrounded by several underprivileged schools, and the Yoobi mission is very much aligned with the Credit Union mission. I talked to the CEO of USC Credit Union [Gary Perez] and said, ‘There might be a partnership opportunity here.’”When she brought this idea to Perez, Paxson said that her main selling point for the partnership was the positive impact it would have on the local community.“We talked about being able to impact the grammar schools, the elementary schools that are directly in USC’s neighborhood, by being able to generate these classroom packs that Yoobi donates to kids in need,” she said.The Credit Union plans to incentivize the purchasing of Yoobi products by giving discounts to members. The partnership is currently being finalized and Paxson estimates that it will be available to students at the bookstore and online at the USC Credit Union’s website by early next school year.“Not only are you buying something that you need for your school supplies, but you’re also helping the local community and the local elementary schools ensure that they have the right tools,” Paxson said. “Teachers, on average, pay out of pocket $500 a year to get the supplies for their students. This is a way that they don’t have to do that.”The initiative is currently being tested by CO-OP Financial Services and their member credit union in addition to the USC Credit Union and Yoobi. The program will initially start with five local schools. In addition to school supplies, Paxson said that Yoobi will also give local schools financial planning kits that will help teach schoolchildren basic financial skills.“When they buy Yoobi school supplies, not only will school supplies be given to the surrounding elementary schools, but financial literacy kits called ‘money mammal’ kits will also be delivered,” Paxson said. “So we’re helping to give the community within USC the USC footprint to help them in their whole lives going forward.”The hope is that these skills in financial planning will not only help elementary schoolchildren immediately, but also later in life.“Our goal was not only to help [local students] with their educational supplies but their financial wellness,” Paxson said. “If we can help them build saving strategies at this age, by the time they’re 18 years old our hope is that they go to college and that it will improve the community as a whole.”Correction: A previous version of the article said that the financial literacy kits were called “money manual” kits. They are called “money mammal” kits. The Daily Trojan regrets the errorlast_img read more

Liverpool to let striker leave before end of the month

first_img The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star LATEST Origi scored just six league goals for Wolfsburg last season, helping them avoid relegation to the 2. Bundesliga via the play-off system. IN DEMAND Jurgen Klopp has given the green light to Origi’s exit targets REVEALED Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ moving on TOP WORK RANKED Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti He has not been named in a single matchday squad so far this season, and, according to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, the 23-year-old Belgium international has been told he can leave Liverpool. targets Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January LIVING THE DREAM Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father 2 three-way race 2 Latest transfer news Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing The Reds want to cash in on Origi and they have decided he can go for the right price – with a £27million asking price mooted.Borussia Dortmund of Germany and Italy’s Sampdoria have shown the strongest interest in Origi, but neither team are ready to match Liverpool’s valuation. Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Origi struggled during his time with Wolfsburg Liverpool are ready to let Divock Origi leave before the European transfer window closes at the end of the month.Origi, the forward, has slipped down the pecking order at Anfield since Jurgen Klopp’s appointment as manager, and he spent last season on loan at Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.last_img read more