Spoilers! If you want to witness the craziness of the film for yourself, please go watch it first, and then come back and read this article afterwards!
Loosely based on a true story, “Cocaine Bear” came out on Feb. 24 with a number of mixed reviews. Directed by Elizabeth Banks, the premise of the film follows a simple bear who stumbles upon cocaine that was dropped overhead in a drug scheme operation gone wrong. The bear eats the lost cocaine, becomes higher than any bear should ever be and becomes highly aggressive. There are several plotlines in the film such as Sari (Keri Russell), a mother searching for her daughter Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince) and friend Henry (Christian Convery) who get lost in the woods. All the while, two drug dealers, Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr) and Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) search for the lost cocaine for their boss while local detective Bob (Isaiah Whitlock Jr.) attempts to solve the case. In the meantime, the bear goes on her rampage to kill anyone and everyone who she deems has bothered her, including park rangers, hikers, gang members and paramedics.
The comedy horror film, according to The Numbers, received a box office gross of $71 million against their $30 million budget, which by all means marks the film a moderate success in the movie business. Despite this, there were neither overall positive nor negative reviews. According to Rotten Tomatoes, as of March 17, “Cocaine Bear” has received a 68% critical score, with a 72% audience score, showcasing no great difference in either audience or critical reaction towards the film.
Personally, I give this film 10 blocks of cocaine out of 10. I can understand why there would be mixed reactions, as the film really gets on going with the hilarity of a coked-up bear gruesomely killing people, and people’s reaction to witnessing a high bear. The film tries really hard to have a feel-good storyline and emotional depth with some characters and their troubles, like Sari endlessly looking for her lost daughter, or Eddie lamenting over his relationship with his son. However, you can’t really get invested in the emotional depth of the film when you’ve just witnessed a woman fly through a windshield as she tried to drive away from a coked-up bear.
Despite all this, I believe that the rise of campy movies are on its way. Campy movies faded out in the late 2000s, when the rise of superhero films and super thoughtful films were given way to make up the film industry. However, with recent moderate hits, like the comedy thriller “M3GAN” and now “Cocaine Bear,” people are going to be drawn to the theaters to witness how there could possibly be a movie about a child robot killer or a rampaging bear on cocaine. With the aid of social media and wacky promotion, these films will be able to continue to intrigue audiences, who may not want to watch another superhero comic film or super deep artsy film.