Film review: “Cocaine Bear” is a must-watch, but offers more comedy than thrill

With a plot thats different and out of the box, Cocaine Bear is a film definitely worth checking out.

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

With a plot that’s different and out of the box, Cocaine Bear is a film definitely worth checking out.

Cocaine Bear, released on Feb. 24, was thoroughly enjoyable, funny, and didn’t take itself seriously, which added to the overall entertainment value. Cocaine Bear took a light-hearted approach to the issue of drug slinging and the War on Cocaine in America during the 80s. 

Directed by actress Elizabeth Banks, who starred in movies like Pitch Perfect and Charlie’s Angels, the movie is based on the real-life events that occurred in 1985 when a black bear ingested a large amount of cocaine that was dropped from a plane by a drug smuggler. While the film says it is based on a true story, in reality, the actual bear died from a drug overdose. 

The film follows the journey of the bear as it travels through the wilderness of Georgia, high on cocaine and causing death to whoever encounters it. The death scenes, while supposed to be gory, seem like a joke. The random tossing of bloody limbs seemed stupid and simple-minded, but it matched the light-hearted nature of the film. 

Each death scene was unique and bizarre, each weirder than the last. In one scene, Cocaine Bear chases down an ambulance and leaps about twenty feet in overly dramatic slow motion before gruesomely murdering the driver. The movie wasn’t scary at all and overall the plot took several confusing twists and turns. 

The unique cast of characters includes a small-town sheriff named Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) who just wants to help a group of teenagers trying to get a buzz to a curious child named Henry (Christian Convery). The movie illustrated the dangers of the kingpins in the drug world and the lengths they will go to make a profit.

The main cast was extremely enjoyable and really built off each other. In fact, some of the dialogue felt extraordinarily natural and entertained the audience. The supporting cast includes actors like O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Daveed), Ray Liotta (Syd), and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Peter), who all delivered solid performances.

The bear in Cocaine Bear is brought to life with realistic animatronics and special effects. The bear’s expressions and movements are very lifelike, however, it is still easy to tell it isn’t a real bear and was created with CGI effects. The death scenes mostly consisted of off-screen screaming and someone offset tossing a fake limb into the shot. The lackluster cinematography made the film feel like a homemade movie rather than a professional one.

Overall, “Cocaine Bear” is a fun and entertaining movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a wild ride that will keep you laughing and on the edge of your seat from start to finish. If you’re looking for something different and out of the box, this is definitely a film worth checking out.