I had the pleasure of getting to watch this movie before it’s official release on Netflix January 29 and let me tell you: I enjoyed every minute of it. As usual, this review will be spoiler free so that this wild adventure won’t be ruined for anyone.
Finding ‘Ohana is about a young girl named Pili (Kea Peahu) who loves seeking out adventure, but when she and her family go to Hawaii to help her grandfather with his health, she thinks the visit won’t be the adventure she’d hoping it’d be. When she stumbles upon a journal chronicling a lost Spanish treasure, she’s determined to find the treasure to help her grandfather pay off his bills and save his home.
The atmosphere of the film played a huge role as to why I requested screeners. If you’re a fan of The Goonies then this is definitely right up your alley. Yes, this movie is similar to Goonies when it comes to the adventure and finding lost treasure aspect, but at the same time it’s also different and I think adding in the Hawaiian culture really helped spice things up. Don’t get me wrong; I loved The Goonies growing up. But seeing a different culture thrown into the mix was very refreshing. Not to mention Hawaiian tradition is beautiful to witness. So Goonies blended in with a culture deeply rooted with family and traditions was a perfect combination for this film.
Just let me talk briefly about the cinematography for this movie. Every air shot taken to show the surrounding area such as the ocean or a waterfall was absolutely stunning. The colors were so vivid and clear which really depicted the heart and soul of Hawaii; alive and full of life. There was one scene in particular where Casper, Pili’s friend (played by Owen Vaccaro) said that the nature reserve Kualoa Ranch was used in films such as Jurassic Park and tv shows like Lost (which is completely true. I looked it up. Kualoa Ranch is also known as “Jurassic Valley”). If anything, seeing all the aerial views of the island made me want to visit Hawaii even more.
If you’re looking for a fun film that’s filled with adventure, a sense of family and a look into a beautiful culture, Finding ‘Ohana is something you should definitely keep an eye out for. Starring Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Lindsay Watson, Owen Vaccaro, with Kelly Hu and Branscombe Richmond. It was directed by Jude Weng.
You can watch Finding’Ohana on Netflix January 29.