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Finding 'Ohana (2021)

 Finding 'Ohana (2021)



Kea Peahu
Alex Aiono
Lindsay Watson
Owen Vaccaro
Kelly Hu

Directed by Jude Weng

Finding ‘Ohana is one of those feel good movies we all need. The movie plays homage to all the fun adventure movies of the 80s and 90s, with a lot of ideas gotten from the 1985 adventure comedy The Goonies. Think of this movie like The Goonies remastered to fit into the time and it sure delivers the needed laugh, adventure, mystery and all round enjoyment needed during this pandemic times. Who would have thought in March 2020 when The Covid-19 outbreak became a pandemic that it will carry on until now most of 2021. Here is a feel good movie you can watch that will take your mind off the craziness outside and just warm your heart.

I have to give kudos to the child actors here in this movie. The two of them managed to convey the needed emotions for each scene, especially Owen Vaccaro who was the lead in The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018).

The movie is well written and the pacing is good, with some nice cinematography of the island of Hawaii. Even though the movie extends towards two-hours the editing and directing of the movie makes you either captivated with the current adventure, laughing at what is happening or amazed by your surroundings.

The movie starts with an intro to our lead a young adventure hunter girl around twelve named Pili (Kea Peahu) she and her brother (Ioane by Alex Aiono) with their widow mother (Leilana) travel to Hawaii. Theirs is no vacation, but to visit their grand-father who Leilana believes is not taking good care of himself. There Pili continues her exploring of the house and discovers a journal of a man named Monks who along with two other men, kept a treasure buried away in the mountains. Her discovery of this journal kept away by her grand-father also led her to meet Casper (Owen Vaccaro) another young person her age. She was able to convince Casper about her hunch on the treasure location and won his help to save her save her grand-father from financial woes.

They run off, and later Hana (Casper’s friend) and Ioane go searching for them. Soon the four are soaked deep into the mountains searching for the treasure and the way out.

This would have had a higher rating if they had removed two things which were just too cheesy to ignore and looked forced so it became annoying. The first was the grumpy old man. No need for this forced father to daughter not getting along dynamics. Or the mean old grandpa at first to then turn to sweet grandpa later to his grand-daughter. The second is the cheesy romantic zing they felt the movie needed. It was cheesy and became very much annoying watching Ioane try to catch Hana and she falling for him. Like nothing happened that would have prompted her liking him back, but they just had to force the romance.

I recommend this movie to anyone who liked The Goonies and to anyone who just love feel good movies.


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