Some Mysteries Are Better Left Alone
The highly anticipated spin-off series, National Treasure: Edge of History, didn’t quite hit its mark during its recent series premiere. The all-new Disney+ series attempts to construct a much more different puzzle-solving action-adventure with a brand-new cast and plot, completely separate from its 2004 and 2007 predecessors.
National Treasure: Edge of History does in fact take place in the same universe as the original films starring Nicolas Cage but serves as its own modern story that was obviously developed for a pre-teen audience. The ten-episode series doesn’t seem to carry the same energy and originality as the previous films while most of the cast pulled off a fairly decent performance.
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National Treasure: Edge of History will now forever stay as an addition to the beloved franchise, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily has to be the best one.
Passing on the Torch 15 Years Later
The first episode begins in the year 2001, with a man named Peter Sadusky (Harvey Keitel) talking about an old Aztec treasure. Apparently, the Freemasons used underground tunnels to ferry around Montezuma’s treasure. They separated this into three different containers – one for the Inca, the Maya, and the Aztec. Over time, the relics were lost until now. A band of hunters is en route to tracking it down, confirmed by one in their group.
A man named Rafael (Alejandro Edda) finds one of the relics in Mexico City but unfortunately, he’s stopped by a couple of Salazar’s goons. Thankfully he manages to get away with the relic, heading back home and passing all of his knowledge over to his partner, Manuela (Vannessa Vasquez), and daughter. Buying them precious time, he fights off the men as the house goes up in flames. Manuela hurries away, watching as the house goes up in flames.
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Fast-forward to the present day, we catch up with Manuela’s daughter, Jess (Lisette Olivera), who’s now a 20-year-old and working with a rabble of misfits to break out of an escape room. She’s something of a mathematic genius, working out large sums in her head and managing to help the group escape. Now living in Louisiana, Jess is worried that her rent is about to go up. Apparently, her mother has passed away a year ago, so between messing about in escape rooms, Jess also has a dream to be part of the FBI cryptanalysis department, dead set on solving puzzles given her extensive knowledge of math and as well as languages.
Back to her job at the Storage lot, Jess tries to figure out who “Iam Phasma” (meaning “I am A Ghost”) is. Jess believes this is a Freemason, but given there are over 20,000 in Louisiana alone, things become way more complicated than it seems. A burial flag helps, which narrows it down considerably. She heads over to Sadusky’s place, a man who happens to be a retired General. This is actually Peter Sadusky’s place.
He becomes very impressed as she managed to figure things out on her own. He also notices her necklace and asks about the treasure, going on to reveal that her medallion actually represents an ancient oath to unbury the lost history of entire civilizations. Peter has something for her as well, a letter that holds a clue to a treasure of the utmost importance. After handing it over, Peter warns her not to trust anyone. This letter though happens to be addressed to his grandson, Liam (Jake Austin Walker), but he’s adamant that she’s the right person.
A Treasure Hunt Using More Luck Than Skill
In Madrid, we find our antagonist, Billie Pearce (Catherine Zeta-Jones), opening up a hidden compartment in a mansion and finding a lost trove of art. They’re after an Aztec relic, determined to track it down before it’s too late. She heads over to the US but ends up seeing footage from outside the Mason’s house, noticing Jess leaving. How she obtained this footage is still currently unknown. Billie is determined to figure out what this means, while Jess decides against opening the letter.
When Jess heads back to work, she’s confronted by a couple of FBI agents, who question her DACA status in the United States. It turns out Billie actually hired these goons and Jess notices they’re not feds immediately from their badge and shaky credentials.
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When Jess and Tasha (Zuri Reed) head back home, they find their apartment has been turned inside out, but none of their valuables have been taken. It turns out the intruders are only after the letter. Thankfully they did not succeed in finding the letter as Jess decides to finally open it up and take a look. The letter contains a picture of Sadusky and his family, alongside a letter addressed to Liam.
Jess and Tasha manage to track down Liam. It turns out he’s actually a singer in a bar. He reveals that he doesn’t want anything to do with the letter or Peter. Jess figures out that the letter and picture are another clue.
As they head out, the fake feds end up in hot pursuit. Jess immediately figures them out, with the pair losing their tails as they arrive at the exact location from what’s on the picture, which happens to be a Freemason church. Tasha decides to broadcast this live online for the world to see, as Jess finds one of the lost treasures. The symbol matches that of her necklace too. As a result, they hightail it outside with the treasure in hand.
The series premiere of National Treasure: Edge of History is now available for streaming exclusively on Disney+ with new episodes arriving weekly on Wednesdays.