07 Feb 2021: 'Finding 'Ohana': A usual treasure hunt good for family viewing
Before you associate the name with the famous Finding franchise, here is a fact.
Finding 'Ohana is nowhere near the scope or thrill of those titles.
For what it's worth, it's a cute retelling of the many treasure hunts we have seen Indiana Jones and his successors embark upon.
If you have a minute, I can walk you through its good bits.
Intro: It starts with a bike race, where we see Pili
Finding 'Ohana starts with a good bike race on the busy streets of Brooklyn, New York.
Pili, a girl with Hawaiian origins is having a great deal of fun as she paddles past populated sidewalks and even rides through a laundry store as a shortcut to reach her goal.
She wins the race just because of her presence of mind and undying determination.
Relationship: Pili throws shade on irritating Ioane, her elder brother
Pili, played by debutante Kea Peahu, is very confident and inarguably the best character to watch.
She doesn't behave like a usual primary school-goer as she covers up for her irritating, sarcastic, and plain negative elder brother Ioane, who is so insecure about himself that he prefers everyone to call him "E".
That's because he thinks people will make fun of his name.
Details: As we all know: They find link to hidden treasure
You eventually start getting bored of Ioane, played by Alex Aiono.
Pili ends up tracing a link to hidden treasure within the mountains of the Hawaiian Islands where she, Ioane, and their mother Leilani, played by Kelly Hu, visit to see the only surviving ethnic Hawaiian elder of the family, Kimo, played by Branscombe Richmond.
The character arcs are not worth spending time for.
Character portrayal: Pili is a bit too smart for her age
In fact, director Jude Weng has made a literal superhero out of a brave but humane Pili, who trespasses to an unknown territory without care and has solutions to all the problems.
The character is so opinionated that she calls Ioane out for his racial jibe at her newfound bestie boy Casper.
She says, "Don't objectify him."
Pili's sensitivity and adrenaline rush mismatch.
Supporting roles: Watch out for Monks, Brown, and Robinson for fun
But Weng keeps you dragging over the storyline with the intelligently scripted conversations between ancient excavators: Monks, Brown, and Robinson.
How would you react if a haggard explorer looking like he belongs to the 16th century says "Peace out"?
That's the pun repeating amusingly between their conversations reimagined by Pili and Casper in their colloquial lingo.
Thankfully, the pun continues till the end.
Conclusion: Too many inspirations, can miss; Our verdict: 2.5/5
You'll embarrass yourself for spotting ideas, which this Netflix original movie has lifted from Brendan Fraser-starrer Journey to the Center of The Earth.
Bioluminescent organisms and that fragile lava tube are the most obvious of the inspirations.
Funnily, Hu gives ample visual pleasure and even returns to her Scorpion King-lookalike husband.
So it gets a 2.5/5.
Can miss, but watch for Peahu alone.