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Cocaine Bear went where cinema needs to go and here’s why

Cocaine Bear is the girl boss we never knew we needed


Brown means lie down, and black means fight back, except when that bear has consumed millions of dollars worth of cocaine. With a story as far-fetched as this one is being based on a true story, I knew little more going into this movie than a bear was going to consume insane levels of cocaine and die, since that’s how the real story went.

Spoiler: it exceeded my wildest expectations. I didn’t even know the genre of the film before seeing it, and even after the first 30 minutes of the movie, I was still trying to place it between horror, comedy, and thriller. After watching it, I’d say it sits right at the point between all three, though the comedic elements tended to overshadow the gory horror as the situation reaches previously unknown levels of ridiculousness.

The characters are all over the place, too. There’s a trio of knife-wielding teen delinquents, a park ranger focused on her romantic ambitions, drug dealers with stab wounds and bad tattoos, cops, paramedics, and truant tweens. Each character possessed layers of motivation and personal circumstances, only further increasing the stakes.

Cocaine Bear wasted no second of its 95-minute running time, getting right into the drug-fuelled action within the first two minutes. I really won’t be spoiling anything more because this movie must be seen to be believed, although it mostly just must be seen. It was balls to the wall, throwing every single ridiculous turn and bloody possibility into the mix, with a whole array of characters to root for, including and especially the bear herself.

Yeah. Herself. Cocaine Bear starts off on a rampage of death, running off kilos of coke and already the apex predator of her territory. However, as the story progresses, the human characters experience more than just death at her claws, and arguably cause worse to each other, and we see that perhaps a murderous, drugged-up animal is not the worst creature in the Chattahoochee forests after all.

By the end of the film, she is an antihero of cinephillic dreams – a true girl boss. You’ll go from cheering to fearing in 95 minutes. The audience roots for the Cocaine Bear to not only take what she most desires from bad humans (cocaine) but also to protect what’s hers.

Elizabeth Banks knocked this one out of the park. It’s a story out of pure, unfettered insanity, and it was beautiful. I laughed, I shrieked, I couldn’t look away. And in an era of film dominated by cr*p, formulaic superhero trash and three hour snore-fests, Cocaine Bear is where cinema needs to go: no holds barred, innovative, bite-sized fun.

Sure, there’s been Sharknado and Snakes on a Plane, but Cocaine Bear offers it all: interesting human complexities, a cultivated 80’s vibe, and the antihero of the decade. The movie didn’t pretend to be anything it wasn’t, but it also didn’t lack anything desired either.

Cocaine Bear doesn’t rely on a stacked cast or billion-dollar budget and heavy marketing to succeed. It’s the story of a bear who consumed an impossible amount of cocaine and went on a killing spree, and it’s the movie of the year. Go see it, treat yourself to a Tango Ice Blast and some Skittles, and enjoy the movie that dared to ask, “What if we merely set out to entertain?”

All images including featured image via YouTube

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