The film is based on the true story of a black bear that overdosed on cocaine in Tennessee in 1985, and the scriptwriter Jimmy Warden’s take on the incident is anything but mundane. The film is based on the true story of a black bear that overdosed on cocaine in Tennessee in 1985, and the scriptwriter Jimmy Warden’s take on the incident is anything but mundane. Cocaine Bear delivers on its absurd premise, taking viewers on a wild ride that doesn’t let up. However, while the movie is fun to watch, it's not without its faults.
Cocaine Bear imagines a situation where the bear overdosed on cocaine and goes on a murderous rampage instead of dying. The plot follows a cast of characters who wander into the park, each with their own reasons for being there. The story quickly takes a hilarious turn when they begin to run into the drug-fueled bear, who’s more focused on finding more cocaine and tearing apart anything in her path.
The film is a pure black comedy, and the writers take advantage of every opportunity to inject humour into the plot. From the Bear doing lines off dismembered limbs to characters dying in funny-ish ways, the movie is a non-stop laugh fest. However, there's also a sense of danger lurking in the background that keeps viewers on edge.
As enjoyable as Cocaine Bear is, it's not without its flaws. The movie tries to pack too much into its plot, creating an overwhelming bloat atmosphere. The film features a large cast of characters, each with its own subplots that don't always tie together in a satisfying way. The bear is a compelling enough character, but the constant introduction of new players takes away from her impact.
The filmmakers' attempt to create tension by inundating viewers with disturbing imagery also falls flat. The bear's violence is a key element of the movie, but the graphic scenes become tiresome after a while.
It's clear that the filmmakers were trying to tap into the same energy as Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea, but they missed the mark.
The abundance of subplots and characters makes Cocaine Bear feel like an overlong SNL sketch. While some of the characters are memorable, most are flatly characterized and serve only as fodder for the bear. The movie could have benefited from a tighter script and more developed characters, but it still manages to be an enjoyable ride.
To really enjoy Cocaine Bear, viewers need to be in the right headspace. The film is pure ridiculousness, and viewers need to be willing to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the ride. The CGI bear may be thoroughly unconvincing, but it's also the perfect representation of the movie's absurdity.
Despite its flaws, Cocaine Bear has some standout performances. Christian Convery and Margo Martindale deliver delightful performances that make their characters stand out from the rest. However, the movie's main draw is its absurdity, and viewers looking for a wild romp through the woods will not be disappointed.