Cocaine Bear takes the real story of a 175-pound black bear that overdosed on cocaine in 1985 and twists it into a blood-soaked, gory B-movie extravaganza. But while it’s fun, it doesn’t really work.
Directed by Elizabeth Banks from a script by Jimmy Warden, the film is largely a series of sight-gags and CGI-gore-filled pratfalls that make you laugh at what could have been a much more polished effort.
Adapted from a True Story
Loosely based on a true story, Cocaine Bear Review is an incredibly hilarious film that combines elements of action, comedy and horror. Director Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2, the 2019 Charlie’s Angels remake) has a knack for making movies that aren’t afraid to be over-the-top.
The story is loosely adapted from an incident in 1985 where a black bear accidentally ingested a bag of cocaine, which led to his death. The movie then follows a handful of characters who get caught up in the bear’s drug-crazed rampage. Including a drug kingpin (the late Ray Liotta), his muscle Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and his heartbroken son Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich).
Directed by Stephen Banks
In her third feature as a director (following “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Charlie’s Angels”), Elizabeth Banks takes a wild premise and slams it into a dark comedy. It’s a tame, but fun, attempt at reviving the gory animal attack movie genre, with influences ranging from Jaws to Evil Dead to Fargo.
Cocaine Bear largely works on the merit of a bare-bones, slapstick script written by Jimmy Warden. The script veers between gallows humor and horror-adjacent suspense scenes, as well as more wacky moments that are just as enjoyable, like an improbable ambulance chase that ends with dismemberment and a bloody skid mark.
Starring Alden Ehrenreich
Cocaine Bear is a film that was inspired by a true story. The premise is simple: duffel bags of cocaine are dropped from an airplane over the Georgia wilderness, and a bear ends up getting into them.
The movie follows three different groups that converge on the same spot to see what happens. There are Missouri drug dealers Syd (Ray Liotta) and Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) tasked with reclaiming the cocaine, and a Tennessee detective who’s on a mission to apprehend a career-making arrest.
As the cocaine-fueled rampage unfolds, the cast gets into some hilarious hijinks. They also get into some serious violence, with people being repeatedly mutilated and shot.
Written by Jimmy Warden
Based on a true story, Cocaine Bear offers up a fun premise for a horror comedy. But while the movie has a few genuinely funny moments, its excessive nature fails to deliver on the potential of this concept.
Warden’s script feels hamstrung by too many subplots and characters, including two children (Brooklyn Prince and Christian Convery) who encounter a bear who does cocaine. The humor falls flat, and the children’s roles are unnecessarily one-dimensional.
It’s easy to see how the movie could be an instant hit, but Banks and Warden seem determined to prioritize fast laughs over thought-provoking consequences. The result is a film that can’t quite rise above the level of exploitation fare.
Cocaine Bear is a movie that can be watched by teens, but it’s not recommended for kids under 17 due to the violence and drug content. The movie also includes a lot of blood and gore.
The film is based on a true story and loosely follows the events of a cocaine smuggler who lost a large amount of cocaine in the mountains of Georgia in 1985. A giant black bear finds the drugs and ingests them, killing the smuggler.
Runtime: 105 minutes
Cocaine Bear Review is a comedy about an R-rated drug-fueled bear going apeshit. It’s a major studio movie, a goofy stoner movie that isn’t afraid to go all out and show us the blood-soaked gore of an animal getting ripped apart and eviscerated by the power of cocaine.
The premise of the film is pretty simple: After a pratfall in a plane leads a drug runner to dump kilos of cocaine on Blood Mountain in 1985, a black bear discovers them and becomes a ferocious animal that attacks hikers, a gang of thugs, a single-mom nurse, park rangers, and a police detective (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) on the hunt for the cocaine-fueled beast.