Disney+’s National Treasure Show is getting disappointing reviews from critics
Disney+ National tax spin-off series, National Treasure: Edge of History, looks set to expand the franchise, but the series’ initial wave of reviews may have derailed that plan.
The original National tax from 2004 followed Nicolas Cage’s Benjamin Franklin Gates’ search for the Templar treasure while trying to fight mercenaries. The first film was a box office hit that led to a sequel being greenlit, National Treasure: Book of Secrets.
While plans for a threequel haven’t come to fruition (yet), Disney+ is breathing new life into the franchise National Treasure: Edge of History. The spin-off show follows Lisette Olivera’s Jess Morales, a protagonist who discovers her family’s ties to major historical events and a lost treasure.
Now, as fans prepare for the Disney+ premiere, a disappointing update has surfaced.
National Treasure Spin-Off: What critics are saying
The first wave of reviews for Disney+ National Treasure: Edge of History has been released, with the general consensus being that the show falls flat, suffers from poor writing, is boring, and is described as childish with a “Disney Channel” tone to it.
Slash Film’s Jeremy Mathai shared the first two episodes of the series “struggles mightily” to stand out from its predecessors on the big screen while sharing it “once entertaining trope” from treasure hunting films such as secret rooms and hidden rooms “falling completely flat” on this:
“Two episodes in ‘Edge of History’ struggle mightily to define themselves apart from the manic, go-for-broke tone of its big-screen predecessors. Like a worn-out rerun that has since lost any charm it used to have. , it it doesn’t take long for once-entertaining tropes—secret rooms and rooms hidden behind bookshelves, clues hidden in plain sight, and villains with unlimited resources itching to cause trouble for vague reasons—fall completely flat.”
While Roger Ebert’s Brian Tallerico praised Lisette Oliveras “charming” performance, Edge of History‘s “shallow writing” made all “boring solving puzzles:”
“The Jon Turteltaub movies weren’t exactly Michael Bay, but they had a momentum that’s just missing in this talky, bland riff on the idea of historical mysteries. There’s a charming lead who tries to hold it together, but she’s a victim of shallow writing that somehow finds a way to make puzzle-solving boring.”
CGM’s Clement Goh pointed out that the show is “The Disney Channel touch is more alive than ever” in Edge of History:
“Unfortunately, much of Jess’s story falls flat with some of TV’s cheesiest lines and robotic delivery between characters. The first two episodes occasionally bring out some campy character references and charm. But the live-action Disney Channel touch is more alive than ever in the worst ways.”
Collider’s Maggie Boccella noted that Edge of Historyslow pace “do little to love [fans] to [the cast]” at the same time says that the charm which National tax movies have been lost when a good portion of the subplots are “stacked” on top of the kids leading the series:
“From the very beginning, it’s hard to get into the story of Jess and her friends – a bunch of twenty-somethings who all live in an apartment they definitely couldn’t afford in the real world. The pace is slow and it does. little to make us happy for anyone, even Jess, and the charm that did National tax endlessly quotable (at least to me) is lost when a host of other characters and subplots are piled on top of the kids already struggling to carry the weight of leading the show. (Like, do we really need another sympathetic FBI agent this time?)”
The AV Club’s David Cote used the cheesy lines in the show as an example of how boring and clichéd Edge of History is:
“If this is a Disney+ product, the breezy youth vibe may rub off on you. Jess and Tasha prepare to approach Sadusky’s rock musician grandson (Jake Austin Walker) at a bar where he’s strumming a guitar. “This Liam- guy’s hot, and a girl needs,” Tasha laughs away, playing matchmaker. “You make Mr. Tattoo Singing Six-Pack a solid one.”
Still, Cote praised “parent-child bond” of the series as that “delivers the emotional stakes,” but “combustion is slow” for the romance of Liam and Jess:
“Like in the movies, a parent-child bond drives the emotional stakes. Liam and Jess don’t want to end up like their fathers—obsessed with clues, maps, and treasures—but they can’t resist the romance of solving world-class mysteries. the slow burn; by the fourth episode, you might care as much about Jess finding romance with Liam as the Aztecs’ prey.”
Despite the negative reviews, there are still positive reactions to it Edge of History.
Mo from Stream no praised Edge of Historyits references to National tax films, its connection to American history, and its perfect use of the young cast “to create an engaging, exciting and tense series:”
“Wow. NATIONAL TREASURE: EDGE OF HISTORY should NOT work. The dialogue isn’t great, the special effects are network level, and there are some choice soundtrack elements every time Catherine Zeta Jones’s character appears, but wow. It just bangs!! There’s a certain degree of wonder you feel when you watch this show, which reminds you of a classic adventure story just like the original movies. And this is VERY much set in that universe, trust. The series renews the idea of history, American history and makes good use of its young cast to create an engaging, exciting and tense series that – and this is the best part – LET YOU SOLVE THE PUZZLES WITH THE CHARACTERS!”
Stream noJosh Martin Jones explained why Edge of History “should definitely be” on fans’ radar:
“NATIONAL TREASURE: EDGE OF HISTORY should definitely be on people’s radar. The mature young adult themes along with the treasure hunt make for an incredibly fun and exciting watch. Lisette Alexis and Catherine Zeta-Jones were the highlights. Fantastic!”
Will Edge of History recover from bad reviews?
The latest reviews for Edge of History may be troubling to some fans, considering that this could have been the worthy sequel to National tax Movies. However, the show still has time to recover, as not all episodes were sent to the press.
The future installments may improve the series’ overall outlook, but unfortunately, the initial impressions of these critics will potentially dampen audience interest.
Despite that, potential references to Nicolas Cage’s National tax hero combined with the confirmation that an idea for a season 2 is already in the cards could spark more interest while also suggesting it could be improved upon.
Although Cage has not been confirmed to appear in the series, fans are still curious if there are possible rumors about his future involvement, with showrunner Cormac Wibberley already hinting at such an appearance from Benjamin Gates “would be like Tony Stark getting to visit Peter Parker:”
“[It would be like] Tony Stark gets to visit Peter Parker. That’s basically how we’d see the relationship if Ben Gates ever showed up. She’s basically Peter Parker to him and will be like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Ben Gates! What am I doing?’ That’s the way our universe is. We would be happy to bring some of the other veterans if we get another season. We have roles for all of them.”
Still, Cage’s appearance serving as a saving grace for a show with disappointing early reviews isn’t the best way to go. Hopefully, Disney+ took note of these reactions so that the executives can try to find the right balance between presenting a show that is a worthy successor to its predecessor.
National Treasure: Edge of Historyits first episode premieres on Disney+ on Wednesday 14 December.