‘Cocaine Bear’ review: A wild true story becomes a bonkers comedy, and yet…
There are few films that can deliver their title as succinctly and aptly as cocaine bear does. There is a bear. She takes cocaine. Hence the cocaine bear Of all. But while the film gets by with its gloriously stupid title, I still craved something extra. Sure, it might be weird to say I wanted to more from a movie called cocaine bearbut I expect a lot from any movie that promises a drug-fuelled killing spree — especially one directed by Elizabeth Banks and produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Is the true story of “Cocaine Bear” as wild as it sounds?
When all you need is out cocaine bear is the biggest hit from its trailer, then the movie is fun enough. Yes, a bear gets caught up in a stash of cocaine, and yes, she violently murders anyone who gets between her and her beloved drugs. The resulting film is goofy and gory, but also oddly flawed, eh cocaine bear spreads too thin with an ensemble cast of people who can’t hold a candle to Cocaine Bear himself.
cocaine bear is a wild ride based on a true story.
They don’t know that they will soon meet Cocaine Bear.
Credit: Pat Redmond/Universal Pictures
As banal as it sounds cocaine bear is indeed rooted. In 1985, drug smuggler Andrew Thornton (Matthew Rhys) threw millions of dollars worth of cocaine from a plane flying over Georgia. A black bear in the Chattahoochee National Forest found and ingested said cocaine and died of an overdose. cocaine bear imagine what would have happened if this bear hadn’t died instantly, but instead gone on a cocaine-fueled killing spree.
It wouldn’t be a killing spree without a few people to terrorize and cocaine bear introduces a cast of characters who certainly didn’t expect their day in the Chattahoochee National Forest to involve a cocaine-wielding bear. Among them is worried mother Sari (Keri Russell) who is looking for her daughter Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince). The Florida Project) and Dee Dee’s boyfriend Henry (Christian Convery) after learning they’d skipped school. Sari teams up with ranger Liz (Margo Martindale) and animal rights activist Peter (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) to track her down. Then there are drug dealers Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) and Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), who were sent by drug smuggler Syd Dentwood (the late, great Ray Liotta) to collect the lost cocaine. Policeman Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) is hot on their heels. It doesn’t take long for all paths to cross with Cocaine Bear.
Cocaine Bear is a star.
Cocaine Bear is creepy, but I also want to hug her.
Credit: Universal Pictures
Whether she’s ramming down doors or sniffing a leash from a severed leg, there’s no doubt that Cocaine Bear (aka Cokey) is a cinematic beast. Their lush fur and cocaine-smeared snout position them at the crossroads of adorable woodland creature and fearsome killing machine. At one point, after tearing a walker to pieces and letting out a glorious roar, Cokey takes a second to admire a passing butterfly. The duality of the bear!
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Speaking of duality, Banks nails the simultaneous ridiculousness and terror inherent in the concept of a “cocaine bear” in each of the film’s genre-bending assault scenes. A tense standoff at a park visitor center turns Cokey into the stuff of slasher nightmares. Charging behind an ambulance, Cokey displays athletic prowess straight out of a high-octane action movie. But Cokey can also get a little silly when she’s scooting across the floor on her back or snuggling up to a terrified human who’s supposed to be honored being in close proximity to this iconic bear. Actually we should all feel honored to see the birth of a new horror legend as Cokey lights up the screen whenever she’s around. There’s only one problem…
cocaine bear doesn’t have enough Cocaine Bear.
Cocaine Bear is on a mission.
Credit: Pat Redmond/Universal Pictures
cocaine bear is full of well-engaged performances, with special kudos to Ehrenreich and Jackson Jr. for their buddy dynamics, and to Convery for his wired turn as a kid, the may did some cocaine. However, there are so many different characters that cocaine bear he ends up feeling more scattered than a cocaine stash in the Georgia mountains.
Banks and writer Jimmy Warden do their best to ground their ensemble with emotionally resonant backstories, like Eddie mourning the loss of his dead wife or Dee Dee and Sari fighting over Sari’s new boyfriend. However, these storylines clash with the otherwise wild tone of cocaine bearand in the film’s rush to unravel them all properly, they lose their power.
I didn’t go to the cinema to see Cocaine Human.
But cocaine bearThe biggest sin of all is that she robs us of precious time with her titular beast by spending so much time on these stories. After all, I didn’t come to the cinema to see cocaine human. I came to the cinema to see cocaine bear. Banks and Warden really only show us Cokey through the eyes of her human characters, a move that helps her get a little bit of her Jaw-esque mystique, but squanders the comedic potential of the concept. Would you believe Cokey never discovered cocaine for the first time? What kind of insanity could the movie have squeezed out of that first high? And what does the world look like from the perspective of a coked bear? cocaine bear keeps his star too far away for us to really tell, and that’s a shame.
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That’s not to say cocaine bear doesn’t deliver its fair share of laughs and thrills. It has moments of laughter – Ehrenreich’s rendition of “A BEAR did COCAINE!” is flawless – and his best kills will have you screaming and roaring with delight. But as funny and stupid as cocaine bear is, you can’t help but think when you look at it that it could even have been more fun and even more dumb. Instead, the film goes into cruise control between bear-centric set pieces, almost as if it had gone too high on its own to really go to gonzo heights. Cocaine Bear itself is an instant legend; I only wish I could say the same about their star vehicle.
cocaine bear hits theaters on February 24th.
https://mashable.com/article/cocaine-bear-review ‘Cocaine Bear’ review: A wild true story becomes a bonkers comedy, and yet…