‘Cocaine Bear’ Review: Jaws with Claws!

‘Cocaine Bear’ Review: Jaws with Claws!

'Cocaine Bear' Review: Jaws with Claws!

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Cocaine Bear! There is a bear! That’s a ton of cocaine! Movies! Cocaaaaaiine Beeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

That’s it, that’s the review!

Want more than that? I’m not sure this movie has much more to offer, but seeing as it’s in theaters now, I’ll give it a try. Surprisingly, this gory horror-comedy film about a bear taking cocaine is based on a true story. This probably leaves you with a ton of questions: when and where – and how – did this happen? What did the bear do? How did he roll a bill with those claws?

The answers are that it happened in 1985 in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest, when a drug smuggler threw millions of dollars worth of Colombian gunpowder from a light aircraft and scattered coke bricks at through the wild woods. In real life, no one knows what the bear did when he got stoned, but the movie imagines a very entertaining, drug-crazed kill. And obviously the bear didn’t use banknotes to snort the coke, he just ate pounds of this stuff one brick at a time. Although these claws are quite good at accumulating multiple lines in one go.

The film is directed by Elizabeth Banks (and produced by comedy filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller). In addition to acting, Banks directed Pitch Perfect 2 and a poorly received reboot of Charlie’s Angels. After a comedy and an action movie, schlocky horror is as logical a career progression as any, I guess.

The fast-paced eccentricity and carnage of Cocaine Bear is great fun to watch, especially after a beer or two. Somewhere between a slasher movie and a low-budget creature feature, it throws a set of humans into the woods to confront a drugged black bear. Banks’ zingy direction and comedic noir dialogue provide laughs, with the ever looming threat of a coked murderous bear giving it that midnight movie thrill. The result is a gloriously silly, gloriously bloody B-movie that delivers pretty much everything you’d expect from a movie called “Cocaine Bear.” You’d be hard pressed to find a better Friday night movie experience than this unholy mix of Jaws, Deliverance, Friday the 13th and Yogi Bear.

80s outfits, needle drops and synthesized score by Mark Mothersbaugh (formerly of Devo) add to the tacky retro feel. But perhaps the most authentic aspect of this homage to old-school exploitation films is the fact that it is, ever so slightly, just a little shitty. Humans mostly roam the woods until it’s their turn to confront the bear. One of the most vulnerable yet resourceful characters disappears for most of the film, depriving us of spending time with them while completely failing to create any suspense about their fate. This search element of the movie would probably work best if it was a chase that required running/fighting/outsmarting the bear. Instead, there’s more quiet wandering in the woods than there should be in a movie called, if I may remind you, Cocaine Bear.

The ending really drains, but most of these characters are thinner than a line cut by a particularly avaricious drug dealer. The cast members know exactly what kind of movie they’re in, at least, playfully building up their country-dumbas personas by delivering turns wider than a barn door. Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, for example, bases his character entirely on a ridiculous wig and fake mustache, which makes his character both not enough and too much.

O’Shea Jackson Jr, Ayoola Smart, Alden Ehrenreich and Ray Liotta push the bear.


Alden Ehrenreich does his best as a grieving drug dealer, though he spends most of his time behind O’Shea Jackson Jr. Jackson’s character arc goes like this: starts out a little grumpy, becomes more and more grumpy.

A more relatable character is Isiah Whitlock’s kind-hearted but tough cop. No idea if anyone else feels like that watching Cocaine Bear, but a big part of its appeal is that the former The Wire actor looks like he’s going to say “Sheee-iiitt” most of the time. is on screen. Well, if you saw a bear on cocaine, you probably would, wouldn’t you.

There’s very little about the villainous drug kingpin who leads the action, but the late Ray Liotta brings a growling, sweaty authenticity just because he’s Ray Liotta. The film has very little to say about the rights and wrongs of the War on Drugs (besides sneering at ’80s “Just say no” commercials), but Liotta’s furiously desperate performance goes against the idea that dealers are addicted in their own way. , forced to act destructively and self-destructively by a cycle of addiction and degradation that conjures up – damn it’s a bear! To cocaine!

A tight 95 minutes of Paddington’s cokehead cousin on the rampage, Cocaine Bear is the funny, gory game we need in a landscape of identical superheroes. Perhaps ironically, given the amount of recreational drugs circulating, there isn’t much substance. But what there is, and I can’t stress this enough, is a bear on cocaine. And isn’t that what the movies are about?


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