The 20-something comedians Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy, who produce digital shorts for “Saturday Night Live” under the group name Please Don’t Destroy, owe a lot to their “S.N.L.” forebears Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, whose troupe The Lonely Island laid the groundwork for Please Don’t Destroy’s distinctive style of two- to four-minute video skits that relish in juvenile absurdity.
The Lonely Island parlayed late-night stardom into feature films like “Hot Rod” and “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.” And now the members of Please Don’t Destroy are here with a movie of their own: “The Treasure of Foggy Mountain,” which borrows the surreal gusto and madcap humor of “Hot Rod” and “Popstar” but shares little of Lonely Island’s originality and charm.
Marshall, Higgins and Herlihy star as lifelong friends stuck in dead-end jobs at a small-town outdoor-supply store owned by Marshall’s father, played by Conan O’Brien. A TikTok video leads them to a treasure map, which leads them on an adventure: sort of like “The Goonies,” though the story is really just a framework for jokes. The jokes have the mixed-bag quality of sketch comedy, and the director Paul Briganti doesn’t have a strong instinct for when bits are dragging on: An “S.N.L.” alum, he tends to treat the film like a string of interconnected skits, which makes its 90-minute run time feel twice that length. The frustrating thing is that Marshall, Herlihy and especially Higgins really are funny, and the film has some huge laughs. That’s enough for a sketch show. It’s not quite enough for a film.
Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain
Rated R for crass language, sexual innuendo and comic violence. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes. Watch on Peacock.