Disney is once again reaching into its bag of established franchises for its next big Disney+ series, and this time it’s “National Treasure”, a film which starred Nicholas Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates, who is obsessed with finding the legendary Knights Templar Treasure, the greatest fortune known to man. The film spawned a sequel, and a third film is also in development.
But before the third film, we’ve got a brand new series, called “Edge Of History”, which tells the story of Jess Valenzuela, whose life is turned upside down when an enigmatic stranger gives her a clue to a centuries-old treasure that might be connected to her father, who died when she was a baby. Jess has a knack for solving puzzles, and her skills are put to the test as she and her friends follow a series of clues hidden in American artifacts and landmarks. But as Jess gets deeper and deeper into the hunt, she not only finds herself in a race with a wealthy and ruthless rival treasure hunter, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, but she’s also forced to question the loyalty of someone close to her. Will Jess find history’s greatest lost treasure and finally unbury the truth about her family’s past?
Each episode is around 50 minutes long, and it’s very obvious that this is being made on a TV series budget, rather than a major blockbuster film. There are some rather odd-looking special effects during the opening montage, but for a TV series, it gets a pass.
This series is a follow on to the original films, with Harvey Keitel returning in one of the opening scenes, playing the role of Peter Sadusky, who was the FBI Special Agent in charge of the theft of the Declaration of Independence in the films. There is a short passing of the torch moment, to connect the films to the series, but based on the first two episodes, there isn’t really much connection to the films. We know; eventually, Justin Bartha, who played one of the main characters, Riley Poole, will be showing up in the series, because Disney made a big point of highlighting the character in the trailers.
I enjoyed watching these first two episodes and will be continuing to watch the rest of the series. It’s a nice change of pace from all the Marvel and Star Wars shows we’ve seen on Disney+ so far. The series is something the whole family could enjoy, but it likely will appeal to adults more. The new characters are all in their twenties (thankfully, Disney didn’t set this one in a High School or College). It’s a bit cheesy in places, and you can see some of the twists a mile off, but it’s still a lot of fun.
The first two episodes of “National Treasure” aren’t going to blow you away, but they should keep you entertained. It certainly gave off the vibe of many previous adventure series like “The Librarians” or “Hooten & the Lady”.
LisetteOlivera is interesting to watch as the main character, Jess, but it’s Catherine Zeta-Jones, who steals any scene she’s in, with an over-the-top Bond-type villain, that is going to make this show much more enjoyable to watch. There are lots of other side characters involved, but I’m not entirely sure why there are so many, since it means we don’t really get to explore these characters, as the focus is on introducing Jess and the main plot of the show.
Will “National Treasure: Edge Of History” be the next big hit on Disney+? I’m not sure; it’s a fun adventure series with lots of puzzle-solving and treasure-hunting, but it just sadly isn’t a patch on the original films. If you took the one scene involving Harvey Keitel out of it, the show could completely drop the “National Treasure” branding.
Overall, the first two episodes of “National Treasure: Edge Of History” are a fun, easy-going adventure show, that I would recommend you check out, since I could see why some people might find it a little lacklustre. It’s got a lot of potential, but it’s best to come into this, not thinking of it as a follow-on to “National Treasure”, because it just doesn’t feel anything remotely like it. It has its own unique style and character, which is best coming into without preconceived ideas, so you can enjoy it for what the show really is, rather than on what’s come before it.
Rating – 4 Out Of 5
The first two episodes of “National Treasure: Edge Of History” are coming to Disney+ on Wednesday, 14th December 2022, with new episodes dropping weekly afterwards.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.