Review: SNL Comedy Team Ventures into Feature Films, and a Treasure Hunt, in The Treasure of Foggy Mountain

From the depths of Saturday Night Live comes the three-man comedy team Please Don’t Destroy, consisting of Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, and Ben Marshall, all of whom star in and wrote their first film, The Treasure of Foggy Mountain. Produced by Judd Apatow, directed by SNL vet Paul Briganti, and narrated for no particular reason by John Goodman, the film tells the story of three childhood friends who end up working together at a sporting goods store owned by Ben’s dad (Conan O’Brien). The guys discover a treasure map that may lead them to a long-rumored pile of some sort of loot, and they head out in search of it.

To get to the treasure and make it home alive, they must battle corrupt park rangers (Meg Stalter and X Mayo), a fussy cult leader (Bowen Yang), and hairless bears. Getting the treasure is only half the battle, and the entire film leads up to an epic battle right back where they started. The truth is, this movie is basically a series of rapid-fire jokes and putdowns held together loosely by a dopey adventure story starring three characters who barely qualify as heroes. And that’s it. Some of the jokes land, about the same number don’t, and if you’re a fan of the Please Don’t Destroy guys’ work on SNL, the movie isn’t really in the same style as their shorts, but the attitude is very familiar. If anything, they’re attempting to break down what an action-adventure movie is and rebuild it to their own sensibility. 

I have a feeling the age of the viewer is going to be a factor in whether you enjoy The Treasure of Foggy Mountain or not, and it may not seem fair but oldsters may not be down for what these kids are delivering. For example, if you don’t know why a cameo by Gaten Matarazzo is a big deal, this film may not be your jam. I mostly found myself giggling through the movie, and I think that’s as much as the creators could hope for from someone who enjoys Please Don’t Destroy in small doses on SNL but isn’t sure their sensibilities translate into a feature film.

The film is now streaming exclusively on Peacock.

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Steve Prokopy

Steve Prokopy is chief film critic for the Chicago-based arts outlet Third Coast Review. For nearly 20 years, he was the Chicago editor for Ain’t It Cool News, where he contributed film reviews and filmmaker/actor interviews under the name “Capone.” Currently, he’s a frequent contributor at /Film (SlashFilm.com) and Backstory Magazine. He is also the public relations director for Chicago's independently owned Music Box Theatre, and holds the position of Vice President for the Chicago Film Critics Association. In addition, he is a programmer for the Chicago Critics Film Festival, which has been one of the city's most anticipated festivals since 2013.