You just can’t say no to ‘Cocaine Bear’

A bear does cocaine. If that doesn’t sell you on Elizabeth Banks’ “Cocaine Bear,” nothing else will. In a movie that is as chaotic as it sounds, “Cocaine Bear” loosely follows the true story of a black bear that, you guessed it, gets access to a boatload of cocaine and goes on a killing rampage.

The film begins with a wild sequence where a man is dumping duffle bags of cocaine over the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia from a rapidly descending plane. The bags of drugs were evenly dispensed throughout the forest, leading to a nearly endless supply of cocaine for the bear to go to town on.

“Cocaine Bear” revives the splatstick genre. Image courtesy of IMP Awards, Wikipedia

The movie revolves around three main storylines. The first follows a mother trying to find her lost daughter in the same forest home to the cocaine-laced bear. Both the daughter, Dee Dee, and her friend Henry skip school to explore the woods but end up finding a bag full of cocaine. Tensions rise as the bear is not far behind.

The second story follows Detective Bob from Knoxville, Tennessee, who travels to Georgia after the plane crash-landed in his area. It’s there that he has an encounter with both the bear and others in search of the missing drugs.

The third storyline focuses on the drug lord’s search for their cocaine. Syd White, a hard-nosed, grizzled drug lord who looks like he’s stuck in the ‘70s, sends two mules, Howard and Eddie, to retrieve the drugs from the forest. However, after the two struggle with the job, Syd attempts to take care of business on his own, leading to an epic showdown with the bear.

This film is not for anyone frightened of seeing guts and gore. There is a substantial – I mean an extreme amount – of blood, bones, guts and organs being spewed out of the bear’s victims. Do not pick a favorite character, as there is a very solid chance they will be torn limb for limb by the bear. There were two elementary school children sitting next to me in the theater, and I cannot imagine how traumatized this film left them. The movie is rated R for a valid reason.

With that being said, if you go into the movie expecting a cinematic masterpiece, you’ll be disappointed. After all, the literal title of the film is “Cocaine Bear.” However, if you’re looking for a thriller that’s incredibly fun to watch, I urge you to check this out. The majority of the film is filled by action scenes of the bear either chasing a new victim or trying to find its next fill of cocaine.

Perhaps the scene that best encapsulates the absurdity of the film is when the bear outruns an ambulance driving at full speed, entering the vehicle and killing everyone in it. Of course, the bear walks away unscathed, ready for whatever, or whoever, is next.

“Cocaine Bear” stars the late Ray Liotta as Syd, going down as one of Liotta’s final acting credits – a fitting end to a legendary career. Analyzing the film for what it’s supposed to be viewed as – a thriller comedy – I give it a perfect five stars. While the film is still in theaters, go see it, you will not regret it.


5/5 Stars

Featured photo courtesy of Ferrett333, Wikipedia