Finding ‘Ohana debuted on Netflix this weekend, and it’s already one of my favorite movies this year. Directed by Jude Weng, a Taiwan-born American director who made a name for herself behind the camera on shows like Black-ish and Fresh off the Boat, Finding ‘Ohana is a fast paced, family friendly adventure about uncovering pirate treasures and mending broken relationships with loved ones.
Taking advantage of the beautiful island of Oahu as a backdrop for its story, Finding ‘Ohana shows what happens when two New York raised, always-bickering siblings, Pili (Kea Peahu) and Ioane (Alex Aiono), are forced to spend summer in Hawaii with their mother, and help their estranged grandpa recover from a heart attack. Their troubles start when Pili comes across an old pirate journal and decides to search for its treasure.
Finding ‘Ohana is a captivating experience from beginning to end – it’s only problem being that it runs a bit too long. However, it is highly entertaining, funny, and parents won’t have much problems keeping the little ones engaged.
The movie is also a great push by Netflix towards representation. Filmed in Hawaii, most of its cast is local and brings back veteran actors Kelly Hu, who played the character Lady Deathstrike in 2003 X2: X-Men United, and Branscomb Richmond. And, speaking as someone who’s trying to raise a multicultural family myself, I loved the simplicity of how the movie shows the importance of knowing where you came from.
For those who enjoyed classics like “The Goonies”, or even more modern movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and Tomb Raider, Finding ‘Ohana may be just the perfect watch for you and your family.
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