Cocaine Bear

Where I Watched it: peacock

English Audio Description?: Yes

I’m a fan of Elizabeth Banks as an actress, but as a director, she’s a bit more hit or miss. I’m not sure Cocaine Bear is going to put her on the map, but it could be a big bright new lane for her. Apparently there’s a thread of truth in this movie, just enough to make it “based on a true story”. It feels like the closest thing I’ve had to the self-awareness of Snakes On A Plane probably since The Happytime Murders. Something that knows exactly how absurd it is before it even gets started.

Basically, a drug runner’s plane is going down, and he throws his cocaine out over a National Park before jumping out. The cocaine lands safely, anyway. And then, a bear finds it, and he’s gotta have more of it. God help anyone who stands in his way.

Banks brings together an impressive ensemble cast ranging from Margo Martindale to Keri Russell, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson to the late Ray Liotta. There will be some characters you root for, and some you do not. Surprisingly, Banks can’t be bothered by the laws of typical horror movies, and the survivors at the end really were not the ones i had been rooting for. not entirely anyway.

So, that deflated me, because characters I wanted to see get eaten by this bear ended up getting away, while others who logically seemed like they would make it, did not. As far as the acting standouts, Margo Martindale is used really well here, and probably was my favorite character, though Jesse Tyler Ferguson runs a close second for playing against type. Sort of.

If you’re wondering, is this a bloody good time, from the audio description i got, I would guess so. Some deaths are brutal. Lots of dismemberment, and one very creative death that also sounds just gory as all hell. I will say, that even though his character is essentially the bad guy, it is really hard to root for Liotta’s death. I mean, he is actually dead, and one of the things I would have preferred, is for him to not suffer some tremendous tragedy in what might be his last film. I felt uncomfortable. You might or might not. it really depends on how much you like Liotta as an actor.

I don’t think Banks is trying to say anything deep here. This movie is an attempt at camp horror, which often is best achieved when not trying to achieve it. The self-awareness of how stupid the concept is, sometimes kills a film. It certainly didn’t do The happytime Murders any favors.

I enjoyed this a little more than this years other horror/comedy M3gan, because that was a little tonally all over the place. This is consistent.

If your idea of fun is people being ripped apart, then Cocaine Bear is for you!

Final Grade: B

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