This isn’t your brain on drugs, it’s a damn bear.
The title alone suggests a D-list movie in the vein of Sharknado, The VelociPastor and Zombeavers, but with a budget, sense of humor and A-list director Elizabeth Banks, Cocaine Bear is a wild and crazy-fun B-movie ride. Unlike those other films, this one though is inspired by true events. A bear addicted to cocaine? Yep.
Inspired by the true story of a drug runner’s plane crash in 1985, the missing cocaine he dropped before his fatal parachuting accident and the black bear that ate it all. Jimmy Warden’s script follows different folks who all converge onto Blood Mountain in Georgia where duffel bags of cocaine fell.
This isn’t the type of movie to overanalyze its merits or the state of cinema. Banks directed this movie with no sense of subtlety as the cast of oddball characters become entangled with the ursine addict. The film’s ensemble cast nary walked away with a shred of dignity but instead, leaned in all the way into the film’s humor.
The cast includes Keri Russell (The Americans), O’Shea Jackson, Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Da 5 Bloods) Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Margo Martindale (The Americans) and Ray Liotta (GoodFellas). Additional cast includes Christian Convery, Alden Ehrenreich, Brooklynn Prince, Kristofer Hivju, Hannah Hoekstra and Aaron Holliday.
The movie works as an antidote to all the superhero and underwater blockbusters and the heavy Oscar dramas on the current movie landscape. It has a grander scope than M3GAN but the tongue-in-cheek sensibility is rampant only here, it’s also bloodier. The body count and gore level is high and Banks serves them all with laughs in its hour-35 run time.
Banks also gives the movie the space to breathe — or perhaps snort. The action and the laughs ebb and flow in all the right spots giving the audience time to catch a breath. But also, the film doesn’t lollygag. No drama to wade through before you get what you bought a ticket for.
Cocaine Bear is simply a bloody, fun escape that also works with an enthusiastic crowd that will ooh, ahh and laugh all together with you in the comfort of the movie theater.
Rated R. In theaters. Watch the trailer below.
– Rich Lopez