“You notice things others don’t” is a compliment more than once for Jessie (Lisette Olivera), a National Treasure heroine): The Edge of History . On the face of it, this makes her an ideal spiritual successor to Ben Franklin Gates — whose protagonist played the leading role in Nicolas Cage’s first two big-screen efforts, but he didn’t appear it’s here.
In practice, however, it’s more like the show’s way of insisting that Jesse is funnier than the script actually allows, and an excuse to cover up the carelessness of its mysterious events. Jess may have an eye for details, but her Disney+ collection has no patience for them—it’s not so much an elaborate puzzle as a collection of half-broken bits and pieces.
National Treasure: On the Edge of History
Bottom line Cage’s charm is fatally lacking.
Wednesday, December 18 (Disney+)
Cast: Lisette Oliveira, 45 Catherine Zeta-Jones , Jake Austin Walker, Zuri Reed, Jordan Rodriguez, Antonio Cipriano, Lyndon Smith
47 by Marianne Wibberley, Cormac Wibberley
First National Treasure is hardly a masterpiece, but its bombastic silliness has a charm—a story that begins with Cage and his co-stars repeating over and over again, “Steal the Declaration of Independence.” ’ That line, it’s as if even they themselves don’t quite believe the script is telling them to, and it only gets more unbelievable from there.
The plot of the new spinoff, from creators Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, seems to be as circular in spirit as its predecessor. This time, as retired FBI agent Peter Sadusky (guest star Harvey Keitel, reprising his role in the film) explains, the ancient treasure trove of wealth was destroyed by the Mayans, Inca and Aztecs. An underground network of Croatian women was hidden away from the Spanish conquistadors.
The task of finding the treasure fell to Jess, a brave 30 Dreaming of joining the FBI’s cryptanalysis unit, she had the opportunity to meet Sadusky in the premiere directed by Mira Nair. Soon, she discovers that the treasure’s centuries-old history is linked to her own mysterious family background–if she wants to protect it from Billy (Catherine Zeta-Jones), an antiques dealer, who possesses own deadly personal gain.
If Historical Edge (no, I don’t know what that title means either) is trying to do anything, it does this for Bringing a more modern, socially conscious sensibility to the 10-year-old franchise. Jess’s status as a DACA recipient and her friend Tasha’s (Zuri Reed) innate distrust of law enforcement touch on real issues facing minorities in America, and this time the plot is against the new … The world’s poignant response to whitewashing colonialist narratives: In his exposition-dump speech to Jesse, Sadusky highlighted the achievements of the Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs, and even Billy casually pointed out that, It wasn’t the sword of Hernán Cortes that destroyed civilization, but the introduction of smallpox.
But expecting in-depth cultural analysis is going too far for a series that’s mostly about people solving ridiculous puzzles left by historical figures. In the first four 18 minute episodes sent to critics (-episode season), Edge of History Engagement with these issues ends with mentioning them. The series’ attempts to capture Gen Z culture more broadly also fell by the wayside. Every time a character mentions TikTok dancing or waving around Thor Funko Pop (must join the Disney synergy) it conjures up “how are you guys?” from 18 Rock.
Edge of History The deadliest pain, however, is its utter lack of charm. It’s certainly impossible to match Cage’s runaway energy in the film. But Olivera’s Jess reads too nice and normal to sell the kind of urgent obsession that might drive someone to find what might be a mysterious treasure at all costs. She’s one of the more compelling characters on the show. Her friend Oren (Antonio Cipriano) seems to be considered the goofy comedian but only sells the goofy parts, and her buddy Ethan (Jordan Rodriguez) is what I think We are not very nice people. d fell out of date a few years ago.
The Zeta-Jones certainly brought some star wattage to Billie. While she has little to do but sneer under her ice-blonde wig for most of the episode, this perfect sneer elevates things like, “Why don’t you guys stop questioning me, grab your pom-poms and start arguing for me?” I’ll do my best” lines. (ManyEdge of History dialogue sounds like it was written without realizing that someone had to say it out loud; Jess’ take on Billie is “I didn’t Thinking of someone walking all over town in Big Little Lies .”) Also, Justin Bartha as Ben’s sidekick Riley in Episode 4 (Riley)’s cameo also brings audiences a welcome shot of self-aware silliness, starting with a hilariously overwrought entrance.
But they can’t save a series that seems to have forgotten why someone might want more National Treasure in the first place. Edge of Treasure underscores key cues with cheesy glowing graphics and flashbacks to scenes we saw a few minutes ago, as if anticipating viewers scrolling mindlessly through TikTok just Half attention—but wielding the process of deductive reasoning and creative problem solving, let Jess make those connections in the first place. Meanwhile, Liam, Peter’s aspiring country star grandson, is getting so much acting time that one might suspect that the real purpose of the project is to test out actor Jack Austin Walker for a move to music.
Maybe someday someone will crack the code on how to expand the National Treasure franchise; Riley’s vague comment says, ” Let’s just say there’s reason to be interested in what he and Ben have done”, which is an obvious wink to the fans who have been clamoring for the first film Three movies. But Edge of History is not a solution. It’s just another unsolvable problem.