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‘National Treasure: Edge of History’ review: Two episode premiere in search of a younger audience

The hunt begins in National Treasure: Edge of History.

National Treasure: Edge of History is the latest Disney franchise to return to the Disney+ streaming network as a series. The show follows Jess Valenzuela (Lisette Olivera, We Need to Do Something), whose life is turned upside down after an ailing man (Harvey Keitel reprising his role from the movies) gives her the clue to a centuries old treasure. As Jess begins to put all the clues together, she starts to uncover secrets about her own family.

While it would be wrong to label the National Treasure movies as family friendly, the films are something almost the entire family can sit around and watch. There is an Indiana Jones vibe to it that will draw in adventure fans of all ages. That being said, the target audience seemed to have skewed a little older, with actors like Keitel, Nicholas Cage, and Jon Voight all playing prominent roles.

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The latest installment seems to be aiming for a younger audience. It seems like there are going to be shocking discoveries and the same sense of adventure, but Jess and her friends are more apt to talk about social media than daylight saving. One of her friends is even an influencer. Does it change the quality of Edge of History? Not at all; but those who are looking for a similar experience from the Cage-led movies may be disappointed.

The first two episodes have strongly hinted Edge of History will be a globe spanning experience. It is also clear that puzzles and riddles will be a big part of the show. It is quickly established that Jess has a knack for solving puzzles and there have been some neat instances of her putting her abilities to the use. So far, there has not been a case where she randomly pulled the answers out of the air, but this is something the series will have to keep an eye on. What is initially seen as proof of how intelligent a character is can quickly become an eye-rolling example of convenient plot device.

So far, Catherine Zeta-Jones is the highlight. After being barely used in the first episode, she proceeds to be the standout of the second one. Her character of Bille Pearce is a Bond-like villain that is equal parts sophistication and evil. She exudes confidence and it will be fun to see her match wits with Jess over the course of Edge of History. There have been some growing pains, but it is a fine start to the latest entry in the National Treasure series.

National Treasure: Edge of History airs on Disney+ beginning December 14

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