“Cocaine Bear” review: Esco-bear knows how to party

by | Mar 6, 2023 | Opinion

Rating 8.5/ 10. It will not win an award, but an excellent grizzly time.

On September 11th, 1985, a dirty cop and drug dealer, Andrew C Thornton II, dumped 40 plastic bricks of cocaine over the Tennessee wilderness because the plane was too heavy. Two days before Christmas, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation discovered a dead black bear with 34kgs of cocaine in its stomach. That was the beginning and end of Pablo Escobear’s tale.

This was the inspiration for Elizabeth Bank’s movie Cocaine Bear. The film starts with Thornton (Matthew Rhys) dumping coke off a plane over Tennessee. That is one of the actual facts of the movie. The other true fact is that a black bear found the coke in the forest and ate it. The film attempts to tell what happens to an unnamed bear.

According to Imdb.com, the movie is a comedy thriller. I also believe a little horror should be added to the mix. There were parts of this movie in which I felt a certain amount of fear that I had not felt in any horror movie for a long time. This fear was only heightened by the soundtrack in certain scenes. soundtrack. The suspense of not knowing who would make it out of a cabin in the woods while being stalked by a cocaine fuel beast was unbearable at specific points.

Without giving spoilers, Ray Liotta’s character, a drug dealer named Syd will not be making it to a sequel. As this was Liotta’s final movie before he passed in May 2022, the character could return in the sequel, but it must be recast. Liotta does an excellent job of playing a criminal, but was this movie a withdrawal from the outstanding performances of his past? While not as great as his role in Goodfellas, Liotta went out on a great career high.

Cocaine Bear is a honey pot of over-the-top deaths that fans of horror comedies would love. One gory death involves an ambulance, but I can’t say more without giving more details. This movie provides a more realistic relationship of what would happen in Jellystone between Yogi and Ranger Smith if the picnic baskets were bricks of nose candy.

Cocaine Bear offers one thing most horror movies do not: instead of some demonically possessed doll or Halloween masked killer, the antagonist is just a simple beast, only fueled by cocaine. Not some imaginary bear who is out to seek to murder Christopher Robin for going to college. It is more of a tragic tale of drug addiction and the adverse effects of cocaine on a 500lb killing machine made of fur, muscles, powerful jaws and razor-sharp claws. There are emotional moments in the movie that may make you shed a tear. It’s a simple well-done movie that preys on the primal fear most humans have embedded in us from our hunter-and-gatherer days, human vs apex predator.

Don’t hibernate on seeing this film. If you wait until it arrives on the streaming service, gather some friends to watch this while enjoying a freshly caught salmon with some Coke, Coke Zero Sugar or Diet Coke to celebrate when you are done with finals.

No one is too sure what happened to the real cocaine bear besides dying of a cocaine overdose. Either way, the real Paublo Escobear died the way I would love to go. Naked in the forest on an insane amount of drugs worth 2 million dollars.

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