REVIEW: What you imagine is probably more exciting than the actual ‘Cocaine Bear’ movie
The title “Cocaine Bear” conjures up a wild, raucous time at the theater with a surely off-the-wall beast on the big screen. But dial that excitement down by about half, because “Cocaine Bear” does not live up to your own imagination.
There’s definitely a bear in the movie, one that is high on cocaine and kills a couple of people in the woods. But there’s really only one or maybe two scenes in “Cocaine Bear” that live up to the drug-fueled promise. Most of the movie is pretty flat.
“Cocaine Bear” could and should have been a lot more radical. Instead, it’s the Hollywood equivalent of those Sy-Fy channel creature features, with a better CGI budget and some higher-quality actors — though most of them are aware that they’re slumming it for this one.
In 1985, a drug trafficker dropped several duffel bags full of cocaine from an airplane into the Chattahoochee National Forest. A black bear ingests the drugs and goes on a bit of a rampage against various people in the woods.
“Cocaine Bear” falls victim to the same trap that befalls many a creature feature: there are too many people in it. When you hear a title like “Cocaine Bear,” you want to see a movie where a bear does a bunch of cocaine and then goes on an over-the-top, mayhem-filled killing spree.
That happens maybe once or twice in the film, and it is pretty fun when it does. But that’s not going to fill the hour and a half needed to make a movie. So like most creature features, “Cocaine Bear” has a bunch of human actors with their own boring storylines and reasons for being in the woods.
When the bear is onscreen, great! When it’s offscreen, not so much.
The people wandering in the woods are either looking for their kids, looking for their drugs, or worried about the bear. Some of them become victims in some pretty bloody and squeamish scenes. Most of them don’t. The cocaine bear does not have a particularly high body count by the end of the film.
But it’s not a very long film, and it does have enough carnage to be worth watching. Just do not expect “Cocaine Bear” to be as wild and insane as the title suggests.
“Cocaine Bear” is currently playing in theaters and is not available to rent or stream at home.
For more discussion on the film, tune in to the Sentinel Cinema podcast at www.RomeSentinel.com/podcasts.
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