This movie version of “Treasure Island” sticks pretty close to the book, but it is unfortunate that the violence and strong language mar it as a family-friendly film. Toby Regbo does an outstanding job as Jim Hawkins, a young man who just lost his father. He heads to sea to seek adventure and make a living to help his widowed mother. He crosses paths with John Silver (Eddie Izzard), the former cook on a ship that now is a gold- and treasure-seeking pirate vessel. Yet Silver has a heart for Jim and is good to the boy. The quest for the treasure map–and the stress of holding on to it–is essentially what the story is about. We get a solid portrait of a conflicted individual in John Silver, a man with a big heart as well as a big desire for riches.
During the journey, swashbuckling, sword fighting, pirate songs, greed and betrayal are the norms. The movie features Donald Sutherland as captain and Elijah Wood as a shipman who winds up on Treasure Island with two goals: to get a Bible and cheese, because cheese is a little bit of “Heaven” on Earth. The movie does a good job showing clearly what greed can do to people. Despite good performances and a good ending, the aforementioned violence and language prevents us from awarding “Treasure Island” our Dove Family-Approved Seal.