It’s Friday night, and the theater is packed. Sold out, to be exact. The crowd seems like it’s going to be rowdy, and that’s before the movie even starts.
No, it’s not the latest Marvel entry or a $100-million budgeted Tom Cruise flick (Maggie and Sean are both anti-Tom Cruise and did not watch “Top Gun: Maverick”).
It’s “Cocaine Bear.”
Against all odds, this mid-budget horror-comedy, which exists purely to show, in gory detail, what would happen if a cocaine-addicted bear went on a murderous rampage, sold out the Hamilton AMC theater.
There’s not all that much to “Cocaine Bear.” An insane drug dealer throws duffel bags of cocaine out of an airplane above Georgia, and a bear finds the bags before authorities or the smuggler’s associates can.
Murder ensues when a Swedish couple, two little kids playing hooky from school, three teenage hooligans, a drug dealer and his reformed partner, a park ranger and her lover, a mother, two ambulance drivers and a southern detective converge on the park for various reasons.
Surprisingly, “Cocaine Bear” even manages to squeeze out a central theme amidst the carnage in the importance of parenthood. One father in the story forces his son into the drug dealing business, and the primary plot beyond “Bear does cocaine” is a mother trying to save her daughter in the woods (and bringing a small child deeper into the coked-up-bear-infested-forest for some reason???).
Even Cokey the Bear is just looking out for her kids, two little cubs also addicted to cocaine.
The movie isn’t flawless (though it is close). It peaks with the ambulance scene teased in the trailer, which occurs about halfway through the film. While the rest of the movie is still fun, it starts to drag a bit.
It also lacks much rewatch value. If we hadn’t seen it in a packed theater where the audience clapped every time the bear killed someone, it may not have been nearly as enjoyable the first time, either (Maggie disagrees with this — she plans to rewatch it at least once a year).
But the kills.
Oh my god, the kills.
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If you’re not prepared for gore, you should not watch this movie. Blood and limbs everywhere, at all times. If that’s your thing, though, the violence in “Cocaine Bear” is funny and unique.
There are also countless little comedic details throughout the movie. The detective is clearly lonely, and he tries to get a dog to help but ends up with a shih-tzu instead of a labrador. He then spends the rest of the movie both upset that he didn’t get a fun dog and sad that he has to leave her behind to go look for cocaine in the woods.
And don’t even get me started on the traitor character in this film. That person might have ruined this otherwise nearly-perfect movie for me.
At one point, the detective shoots off two of the drug dealer’s fingers: his pinky and his middle finger. How did the bullet miss his ring finger? The characters are just as confused as us.
Overall, despite the shocking amount of gore and drugs, the movie was aight.