Movie Review | Cocaine Bear
Written by Sean Ritchie
Cocaine Bear is a very enjoyable horror comedy that is loosely based on the true story of a bear consuming a large amount of cocaine that was dropped out of an airplane. Instead of killing the bear, the cocaine fuels the bear’s rampage in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. If you have seen the advertisements, then you have a pretty good idea of the tone and direction of Cocaine Bear, and it definitely delivers a lot of funny death scenes by a cocaine-addicted bear. It is not a film that tackles complex or hard-hitting themes, but the filmmakers put all of their efforts into making the film very exciting and absurd. The film has its own silly logic that it likes to frolic around in, which is where the humor comes from. This is where the film is at its best, when it embraces the absurdity of its premise of people dealing with a murderous bear high on cocaine.
The cocaine-addicted bear is certainly the highlight of this film as it strikes a very delicate balance of being a dangerous, formidable foe for the characters and also a silly, high-out-of-its-mind, fluffy good boy which makes it a great monster for blending horror and comedy. Not many films are able to pull this duality off well, so it is always a treat when we get a film that does. For the most part, the bear looked pretty realistic, and it was extremely well-animated.
However, there were some scenes that looked as if the CGI needed a bit more work, especially a shot with a certain character falling off of something. The practical effects and makeup they used for the gore and injuries the characters received were extremely well done and a couple of the made me squirm at how gross they were.
Another highlight of the film was the large cast of fun characters who unknowingly stepped into the cocaine bear’s territory. You have a detective who is overly fond of their recently acquired pampered pooch, a pair of kids playing hooky and acting like they know how the drugs they found work, a drug dealer who is terrible at twenty questions and has to figure out how to work with their emotionally distraught coworker, and a middle-aged park ranger desperately trying to get into a relationship with a wildlife activist. The characters all had fun interactions and relationships with one another, which helped the film to create humorous jokes when the bear is not around.
The climax of the film was a bit weak compared to the rest of the film as it was painstakingly obvious what was going to happen. You sit in your seat hoping the story goes in a completely unexpected direction, but sadly it never does. This made the climactic scene a lot less intense when it should have been gripping you with a mixture of suspense, tension, and laughter. Besides my minor issues with the film, I had a lot of fun watching it and would definitely watch it again. Also, there are two end-credit scenes so make sure you stick around to see them!
If this film perks your interest or you are looking for a fun turn-your-brain-off movie, I would definitely recommend Cocaine Bear. However, if you’re looking for something a bit deeper or something that will hit you with a lot of emotions I would try something else.