Movie Reviews

Netflix’s ‘Finding ‘Ohana’ Trailer Goes on a ‘Goonies’ Style Hunt for Lost Treasure

Netflix has released the trailer for Finding ‘Ohana. The footage makes the adventure movie look like the perfect fit for any fans of The Goonies or the Indiana Jones franchise. Young Sheldon director Jude Weng made her feature directorial debut with the movie, which premieres January 29th, exclusively on Netflix. Weng directed Finding ‘Ohana from a script written by Christina Strain, which takes place during the summer in rural O’ahu. The story takes an exciting turn for two Brooklyn-raised siblings when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an epic adventure with new friends, and leads them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage.

Geocache champion Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena, age 12, is abruptly lifted from her busy New York life and dropped into rural O’ahu to help care for her grandfather. Initially skeptical about her new surroundings, Pili finds a cryptic pirate’s journal in her Papa’s studio hinting at a 200-year-old shipwrecked treasure hidden away in the island’s caves and mountains. With her older brother and new friends in tow she uses her clue solving skills to lead them on an adventure of a lifetime through the natural wonders of Hawaiʻi. As she learns to respect and love her native culture she also discovers not all secrets should be shared and that the real treasure in life is ‘ohana – her family.

Finding ‘Ohana stars Kea Peahu as Pili, Alex Aiono as Ioane, Lindsay Watson as Hana, Owen Vaccaro as Casper, Kelly Hu as Leilani, Ke Huy Quan as George Phan, Ricky Garcia as Monks, Ryan Higa as Ryan, Mapuana Makia as Nurse Tina, Brad Kalilimoku as Kua Kawena, X Mayo as Melody, and Kyndra Sanchez as Yoli. The movie marks the first time that Aiono and Peahu have acted. Netflix made it a priority to “cast of predominantly Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, even if it meant finding a lot of newcomers for the large ensemble.”

As it turns out, The Goonies similarities were very much on purpose. Christina Strain set out to write “a Goonies style movie in Hawaii that was about family, culture, and heritage,” according to Netflix when they first announced the movie. As the footage shows, there are quite a lot of elements that look like they were pulled directly from The Goonies and the Indiana Jones franchise, but with a Hawaiian setting.

It was just announced that Jude Weng will be directing Shelly, which stars Awkwafina and Karen Gillan. No release date has been set for the upcoming comedy, though some more news should be announced in the future. Liz Storm and Michael Doneger penned the script for the comedy. Joseph Trapanese (Oblivion, Straight Outta Compton) has composed the original score for Finding ‘Ohana. The movie is produced by Ian Bryce and executive produced by Irene Yeung and JJ Hook. You can check out the first trailer for Finding ‘Ohana above, thanks to the official Netflix YouTube channel.

Finding 'Ohana

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