Making the jump from a comedy to a feature film is a tough nut to crack. How do you take perfect premises for a short format and sustain them for more than an hour without them becoming stale? Many films (especially those based on Saturday night live characters, have tried, with results ranging from comedy classics to total abominations. For each Wayne’s WorldThere’s a it’s pat. For each Blues Brothersthere is a Blues brothers 2000.
Now comedy trio Please Don’t Destroy steps up with Please Don’t Destroy: Foggy Mountain Treasurein an attempt to turn the success of his SNL digital shorts and viral sketches in the magic of cinema. Unlike the aforementioned films, Misty Mountain Treasure you find yourself with a little more creative freedom to show SNL characters and all their greatest hits. Please Don’t Destroy sketches almost always see members Martin Herlihy, John Higgins and Ben Marshall playing themselves, i.e. SNL writers with an exaggerated reputation as losers. (His most viewed SNL The sketch shows Taylor Swift roasting them like “Three sad virgins.”) But even then, they’re mostly blank canvases where strange things can happen. The humor in their sketches comes more from the efficiency and absurdity with which they intensify even the simplest premises than from the intrinsic nature of the characters themselves.
Please Don’t Destroy seems to recognize that feeling of freedom with Misty Mountain Treasurein which the three exchange their SNL office to enjoy the outdoors and an epic search for hidden riches. What follows is an adventure about friendship, growth, and how wonderful it is. Bowen Yang It would be like a cult leader. The journey comes with a good amount of laughs and develops his comedic characters very well. However, he still falls victim to classic sketch film pitfalls, including struggling to maintain momentum beyond the funny parts.
What is Please Don’t Destroy: Foggy Mountain Treasure about?
Conan O’Brien, Martin Herlihy, John Higgins and Ben Marshall in “Please Do Not Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain.”
Credit: Anne Marie Fox/Peacock/Universal Studios
Misty Mountain Treasure (re)introduces us to Martin (Herlihy), John (Higgins) and Ben (Marshall). Friends since high school, these three live together and work together at Ben’s father’s (Conan O’Brien) tent. But their long-term friendship may be in danger. Neither Ben nor Martin are satisfied with the direction of their lives. Ben wants to make his disapproving father proud and establish himself as the store’s heir, while Martin worries that he doesn’t have enough money to support his girlfriend (Nichole Sakura), whose religious lifestyle is also giving him some doubts. John, sensing the anxieties of his friends, decides there is only one way to heal their years-long bond: with a treasure hunt.
Armed only with a mysterious compass and the legend of a treasure buried somewhere on Foggy Mountain, our heroes set out into the unknown, hoping to strike it rich beyond their wildest dreams. What they don’t know is that their complete lack of survival skills will be the least of their worries. Strange bears, treasure-hunting park rangers (Megan Stalter and X Mayo) and a dangerous cult are just a taste of what stands between these three and glory.
Please Don’t Destroy: Foggy Mountain Treasure It is full of laughter and stamina problems.
Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy in “Please Do Not Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain.”
Credit: Anne Marie Fox/Peacock/Universal Studios
Given Please Don’t Destroy’s track record, it’s no surprise that Misty Mountain Treasure It’s a fun movie. Highlights include the least serious opening quote ever and a joke about a strange bird singing. Every actor is also game, from the central trio to Yang as cult leader Deetch Nordwind. Stalter, promoting his status as crazy comedianHe also gets his moment in the spotlight with an improvised song that made me cringe with laughter.
Director Paul Briganti maintains the energy of Please Don’t Destroy’s usual sketches with the help of fast-paced editing and frenetic camera movements. This sense of speed means that many of Misty Mountain TreasureThe jokes come out of nowhere, similar to the quirky twists in his short work. Often these jokes are as profoundly stupid as they are surprising, but in a movie full of falcon battles and sad drunk flights in wingsuits, the stupidity is definitely welcome.
However, Please Don’t Destroy’s propulsive comedy stylings prove to be both a curse and a blessing. We were off to the races from the start, with hardly any ups or downs when it came to pace. Because of this, much of the film feels like a series of sketches strung together, rather than a cohesive whole. Here is a sketch where the boys can sing. Here’s one where a drunk alter ego goes into a rage. Inevitably, some are hits, while others are misses.
Often these sequences follow a pattern: one member of the trio does or says something strange, the other two freak out. Rinse and repeat. It’s a format that works well in individual sketches, but when it happens over and over in quick succession, it risks becoming tense.
Misty Mountain Treasure He works best when he gives himself time to breathe between all his crazy antics. The second half of the film is stronger than the first, as Martin, John and Ben consider what this treasure hunt has done to them and their friendship. (Is the treasure really more important than the friends they made along the way?) These scenes mark crucial development for all three characters and also allow the trio to delve into more dramatic work, a nice change from their roles. more intense and outlined. From there, the film can jump into its gonzo third act with heightened emotional stakes that make even the silliest jokes harder.
Ultimately, that is what Misty Mountain Treasure is: pure silly fun, albeit with some awkward dead ends. As far as sketch-adjacent films go, it’s not nearly the worst, but it’s not the best either. If anything, it’s a continuing test of the limitations of the sketch-turned-movie format, albeit one that will have you laughing for most of its (short) running time.