Does a Bear Get High in the Woods?
A few months back, I came across a movie trailer while perusing the interweb. At first, I did not believe what I was seeing. After watching the preview twice, this information sunk in; a movie in which a bear does cocaine and terrorizes humans is on it’s way to cinemas and it is real. Somethings naturally go together; peanut butter and jelly, Spring time and baseball, and of course, Cocaine and Black bears. The stuff in which dreams are made of. February 24th could not come soon enough.
Usually expectations for a movie of this type should not be set too high. After all, it is a story about Ursus Americanus (black bear, of course) finding a bunch of blow in the forest, and subsequently ingesting a lot of the addictive white powder. My expectations were very high. So did Cocaine Bear fly high, or was it as ridiculous as it sounds? Let us review.
Very, very loosely based on true events that took place in 1985 in Georgia, U.S.A., a cocaine smuggler dumps a bunch of cocaine out of an airplane and then himself jumps. The smuggler turned into high-speed dirt as the parachute he was wearing failed to open. The cargo, however, landed in a heavily wooded area. Right where the bear could find it. Thats about the gist of the real life story. Director Elizabeth Banks (Miri – Zach and Miri Make a Porno) however adds a few “Hollywood” elements to make the story much more exciting and horrific. In real life, the bear is found dead with it’s stomach packed full of sniff. The movie bear does not die, but becomes addicted and goes on a spree of violence. There is a cast of characters whom may or may not have side stories. None of this matters. The bear is the true star of the movie. After all, it is titled Cocaine Bear. The only really notable thing about the human actors in the film is that this is the late, great Ray Liotta’s (Goodfellas) final movie appearance. Fittingly, he plays the drug dealer antagonist who goes looking for the scattered bags of dope.
Is this movie disjointed and hindered by characters who have no real reason to be there but to be victimized by a blitzed out Black bear? Yes. Is it a pretty bad and cheesy story? Yes, but does it also have a bear as high as giraffe balls menacing and bludgeoning the people who are arbitrarily in the forest. One hundred percent. Is Cocaine Bear a think piece that requires hours of analysis and discussion? Definitely not. Is Cocaine Bear a fun little piece of film? Absolutely.
Check you expectations and your brain at the door and enjoy.
Cocaine Bear – Directed by Elizabeth Banks. Starring Keri Russel, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Ray Liotta