Look, I’m gonna be real: a review of Cocaine Bear is pointless. You should know just by the title and premise of the movie if you’re going to see it and if you’re going to love it because it’s exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a movie about a coked-out bear killing a ton of people and it’s off the walls bonkers. It’s really damned stupid, but again, what do you want me to say about it? It’s totally my jam, and I was rolling with laughter throughout, even during the incredibly visceral death scenes.
I’m so energized from my time with the film that I think the only way for me to accurately depict the thrills and insanity present in it is that I should just have fun with it and go nuts myself in describing just how bananas the movie is. No flowery prose can possibly do justice to the sight of watching a bear on cocaine do a line of coke off of a severed leg. Let’s just matter of factly take you on a journey of my experience with Cocaine Bear.
You know, for comedy’s sake.
Director: Elisabeth Banks
Release Date: February 24, 2023 (Theatrical)
Okay, so the film starts off with an infamous drug dealer dancing in a plane as he throws a frankly absurd amount of cocaine off of it before conking himself on the head and falling to his death. Actually no, that’s a lie. The film actually begins with a quote from Wikipedia. Anyway, shock of all shocks, most of the cocaine lands in a forest and a bear finds it and starts going to town on it. In the span of less than a day, the bear becomes addicted to cocaine and somehow doesn’t die of a heart attack after eating literal bricks of the stuff. But hey, I’m not a vet, so what do I know?
Then the film spends about 15 minutes trying to justify sending about a dozen people into the woods the meet their grizzly end. Some of them make sense, like the drug dealers going to the woods to recover the coke and a mother who’s trying to find her daughter who skipped school. Then you have other arbitrary reasons like some dude coming into the forest because he wants to screw the local park ranger and a group of the oldest teenagers I have ever seen who try to mug people in the woods because if I was a teenager that wanted to mug people, I would choose the woods to do it in.
But oh no, they all encounter the cocaine bear! Every time the bear appears on screen, there’s actual tension since you have no idea if the bear is having a pretty good trip or if the bear is going to get aggressive and maul someone. One thing that is a guarantee is that if you come anywhere near its coke, it will absolutely devour you in seconds and take all of your coke for itself. Now that I’m thinking about it, does anyone find it weird that in the span of like a week, we’ve had two movies about killer bears hit theaters? Sure, one of them was that edge lord Winnie the Pooh movie, but it’s still weird when you think about it.
So anyway, the bear is killing tons of people and it’s never not surprising or hilarious when it happens. I suppose the main plot is all about the drug deal and two of the drug dealers recovering the coke, but I could not take anyone in this film seriously and no one really tried to take it seriously. I guess you can say that Ray Liotta, yes THAT Ray Liotta, is giving a serious performance, but we’ll get back to him. The film is just about watching people die from this bear, and it’s a delightful rush when it happens.
One of my favorite scenes is watching the park ranger, who just saw two of the thirty-year-old teenagers get murdered, sitting on the floor as paramedics come in. She says absolutely nothing as she stares at one of them and pulls one of the paramedic’s stethoscopes to her mouth just for her to say in the deepest possible voice “BEAR.” There was no reason to do that other than to be dramatic, but suddenly the bear comes bursting through the door and tries to eat a man before being distracted by a bag that it thinks has cocaine in it. When it’s revealed to be filled with worthless medical supplies, the bear goes into such a homicidal rage that it chases the ambulance that’s going well over 60 miles an hour and kills everyone on board. Then again, the coke is fueling this bear to do incredible things. When the bear gets shot, it just snorts some cocaine and spits the bullet right back out.
I repeat, THE BEAR REVIVES ITSELF WITH THE POWER OF COCAINE.
I don’t care about any of the human drama inside of it. There’s a guy who’s sad that his wife died of cancer and thinks his dad gave her cancer from stress, but I almost instantly did not care about him because he pronounced penne pasta as “pen-nay” like an absolute troglodyte. Then you have the detective chasing them, who is literally just Clay Davis from The Wire, who wants to get home to his dog. I mean, I can relate to that, but even when he was trying to survive, I didn’t care for him. I just wanted the bear to get everyone.
Is that heartless of me? Maybe, but to deny the bear is to be anti-feminist because I will argue that Cocaine Bear is a feminist film. Reason number one, the bear is female. Reason number two, the bear has cubs that she’s trying to protect. Reason number three, the bear killed more men than women in the movie, which is #girlboss. Reason number four, one of the character mentions the bear’s vagina is on them after she passes out from too much coke, meaning that this bear is a proud sexually confident woman who isn’t afraid to display her body. And finally, the bear does not die in the end and gets a happy ending.
The same can’t be said for Ray Liotta, who meets his unfortunate end by having his entrails ripped out by the cubs as he’s devoured whole by the coke-addicted bears. I know that there are a handful of other movies coming out after this movie that will be his final few posthumous releases, but realistically, they’re not going to be as good as this. Those films should just be canceled so Ray Liotta’s legacy can be secured and his final role can be as the head drug dealer who fights the Cocaine Bear. It’s what God intended.
Seriously, why are you still reading this? I’ve barely gone into a quarter of the stupidity of the film and you should know exactly if this movie is for you. I could keep going. I can go another thousand words just rambling about the film, but personally, I think you should see this movie for yourself with a group of friends. Just get together in front of the biggest screen and watch it.
Is Cocaine Bear a good movie? Undeniably. Is it stupid? Unquestionably. Did I have fun watching it? I refer you to the line about watching a bear cheat death by snorting cocaine. For the love of God, it’s a movie about a bear on cocaine. Please stop reading this and just see it for yourself.