PLEASE DON'T DESTROY: THE TREASURE OF FOGGY MOUNTAIN -- SNL Trio Makes Feature Debut in Funny, if Forgettable Comedy
Review by Sean Boelman
Many of the best skits in the modern tenure of Saturday Night Live come from the group known as Please Don’t Destroy — who star as themselves in goofy, deadpan skits. Although their big feature debut, Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain, is hardly original storytelling, it’s a funny watch thanks to their signature style of humor.
In the film, Please Don’t Destroy plays a trio of longtime friends who realize they are unhappy with their dead-end lives, inspiring them to set out on an adventure to find lost treasure that they once sought out as children. Although the adventure itself is far-fetched and not all that original, the comedy makes up for it.
The set-up is essentially three twenty-something adults who have failed to really grow up, as they go on one last adventure, learning that becoming more mature doesn’t mean giving up what makes life fun. If that emotional arc sounds somewhat familiar, it’s because it’s the premise of virtually every comedy with a juvenile sense of humor.
The sense of humor is pretty much what any SNL fan would expect from a feature length movie made by this comedy troupe. It’s goofy and silly, but there are some great gags that will get a chuckle out of audiences. It’s definitely at its best when it leans into the usual deadpan nature of PDD’s comedy, rather than when it tries to go into more broad raunch that they could explore with the R-rating.
Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain does live or die by how much audience members enjoy the main trio of Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, and Ben Marshall. However, there is one thing that absolutely cannot be denied: they have brilliant chemistry together. If nothing else, the friendship dynamic between them should be enough to charm their way into the audience's hearts.
There’s also a surprisingly good supporting cast in The Treasure of Foggy Mountain. Of course, there are some SNL players like Bowen Yang, who probably appeared in the project because of their friendship with the PDD guys and admiration for their work, but there are some other great appearances, like Conan O’Brien in a funny supporting role, John Goodman as the narrator, and one cameo that’s ridiculous enough to be very funny.
As far as R-rated comedies go, The Treasure of Foggy Mountain is pretty standard. It would have been nice to see the film have a bit more of a distinct aesthetic. For example, if it had embraced the adventure vibe more, it could have felt more like an adult version of The Goonies. While what we get is passable, it also ends up being somewhat forgettable due to its lack of identity.
Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain is unlikely to win the comedy trio over any new fans, but it will be a funny watch for those who are already a fan of the SNL writers/players. It’s a downright silly comedy, and we really don’t get enough of those anymore these days.
Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain is now streaming on Peacock.