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“Cocaine Bear” a leap in the wrong direction for film

When I think of a “Cocaine Bear” I think of the Seth MacFarlane film “Ted” which depicts a CGI teddy bear snorting cocaine. But on Feb. 24, 2023, Director Elizabeth Banks’ absurd horror/comedy/crime film “Cocaine Bear’ hit the theaters. The one hour and 35 minute movie that is filled with too much content, is based on a true story. Banks obviously took creative liberty to a whole new level and makes me wonder what film has become. 

 A story that should not have had any screen time was stretched out into an hour and 35 minutes of a black bear eating cocaine and horrible dialogue from the actors.  I do not understand why the film is considered a comedy, when the only time I was laughing was when I was in disbelief that this was made and how bad the CGI bear was. The film is fueled by shock which is clear in the amount of gore and insane scenes that occur, it is the only reason that the movie was able to get the audience past the first scene.

The real story of the “Cocaine Bear” came from an actual drug run that went wrong. A drug runner dropped a duffel bag of cocaine over Georgia because his load was too heavy, and he then died after he jumped out of the airplane and the parachute did not open. That is where the similarities end. A black bear eventually found the duffel bag then consumed a copious amount of cocaine and then died. 

The film was no doubt a horror film because the characters made stupid decisions such as climbing trees when black bears are known for climbing and opening doors when the bear is behind the door. Yet, scenes of children eating cocaine juxtaposed with the bear ripping limbs off are just moments of pure ludicrousy that eliminates any horror aspect of the film. There was a scene with an ambulance where, I will admit, I was laughing at how stupid it was. 

The cast is an interesting mix. Keri Russell, who needs to find better roles because she can do better, has found her typecast as a distraught mother in a hot pink jumpsuit. Jesse Tyler Fergeson is trying to find his place in Hollywood after the conclusion of “Modern Family.” Kristofer Hivju, who I can only see as my favorite character as Tormund from “Game of Thrones” was just a disappointment. Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. was genuinely good acting alongside Alden Ehrenreich who has a good career going and his acting was resemblant of everyones opinion watching the movie of “why am I here?” And of course there was the late Ray Liotta in which the film is dedicated to who had eight lines. What a send off indeed. 

Some of the more obscure true crime stories that have been made into films have been good. For example, “Masterminds” has a comedy of errors but is a genuinely good movie and is incredibly funny. This was just another film where one can indulge in a couple of substances and actually find themselves enjoying the film. You can find “Cocaine Bear” in theaters and on Amazon Prime. 


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