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fucked-up and furry in 2023’s wildest film

From the primary scene, it’s clear what sort of movie Cocaine Bear is. Set to the chugging riffs and squealing guitar solos of Jefferson Starship’s comfortable rock hit ‘Jane’, a battered airplane (probably a nod to Starship’s earlier incarnation) splutters by a storm. Inside, a mustachioed drug runner flings massive baggage filled with coke by the open airplane door. Wearing a loudly patterned shirt and sun shades, with a telltale path of white powder leaking from his conk, he appears to be like sort of like your dad did after that fancy gown fiftieth he went to as Scarface. When ‘70s Dad will get to the ultimate bag, he prepares to parachute to security. Sadly, he jumps too enthusiastically out of the door, smashes his head on the body slapstick-style and falls unconscious to his dying. It’s all very foolish, however not as foolish as what’s to return.

Primarily based on the 1985 story a couple of bear who ingested a sports activities holdall’s value of blow, Cocaine Bear was all the time a mad concept for a film – even earlier than director Elizabeth Banks turned it right into a violent horror comedy splattered with bloody gore. Whereas the true Pablo Escobear was discovered useless, Banks’ blotto beastie goes on a murderous rampage. We spend more often than not with the bear’s unwitting targets – a few schoolkids bunking off within the woods; the misfit search celebration that goes to search out them (led by Keri Russell’s outdoorsy mum); and a clumsy drug vendor duo (Alden Ehrenreich and O’Shea Jackson Jr.) determined to trace down the misplaced coke packages littered throughout the Georgia countryside. There’s various jump-scares, wild ambulance chases and a vastly watchable Ray Liotta in his closing ever movie look.

Cocaine Bear
Keri Russell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Margo Martindale in ‘Cocaine Bear’. CREDIT: Common

To this point, so good. You’ll be able to have quite a lot of enjoyable with Cocaine Bear, largely due to how bonkers it’s. Issues occur that might simply not be allowed in different movies, like when the children (who’re 12 years previous) nervously pattern from a fats brick of gak. Banks has stated in interviews that she wished the movie to be as controversial as potential – and he or she’s positively succeeded. The issue is that a lot effort and time has gone into dreaming up stunning methods to kill individuals or make them do Class As, that the story has been forgotten. There isn’t one. As a substitute, characters ping-pong from one place to a different for no believable cause aside from it makes the author’s life simpler. Throw in a number of lazy plot holes – probably the most annoying of those being when the bear hides in a forest cabin’s backroom, in some way closing the door behind itself – and the thrilling highs can shortly flip to brutal comedowns.

Fortunately, the idea itself is so intoxicating that folks can’t cease speaking about it. Pre-release ticket gross sales mission a field office-topping outcome for opening weekend, whereas a intelligent advertising marketing campaign means social media is awash with pleasure. There’s already discuss of a sequel, Cocaine Shark, and the solid have joked about getting jobs within the Cocaine Bear Cinematic Universe. So possibly it doesn’t actually matter if Cocaine Bear is common, so long as it has each cocaine and bears in it. And we will most positively verify that it does.


  • Director: Elizabeth Banks
  • Starring: Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ray Liotta
  • Launch date: February 24 (in cinemas)



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