Review: Cocaine Bear

The Gonzo Journals

March 10th, 2023

First of all – while I have everyone’s attention – don’t tag me on social media in posts praising the Goodread’s Review Nazi’s. I have never, nor will I EVER, support these hacks who do nothing but praise the writers who slurp their butts and attempt to cancel those who stand their ground. They show up to cons like their shit doesn’t stink knowing damn good and well they couldn’t write their way out of a wet paper sack if the situation required it. I’m too busy to endure the wait outside their hotel room door requesting that five-star treatment reserved for those who don’t mind getting a few curly Q’s in their teeth. My ten-year-old granddaughter’s literary criticisms make more sense. Thanks!

Now, to business.

Let’s talk about Cocaine Bear!

First of all, I had zero expectations going into this film. The trailer makes clear it’s about a bear who does cocaine and slaughters people. What more do you need?

According to Wikipedia:

Cocaine Bear is a 2023 American comedy horror film directed by Elizabeth Banks and written by Jimmy Warden.[6] It is loosely inspired by the true story of the “Cocaine Bear“, an American black bear that ingested nearly 75 lbs. (34 kg) of lost cocaine. It stars Keri RussellO’Shea Jackson Jr.Christian ConveryAlden EhrenreichBrooklynn PrinceIsiah Whitlock Jr.Margo Martindale, and Ray Liotta. The film is dedicated to Liotta, who died in May 2022.[7]

As much as I hate social media review culture, I can’t help but give my opinion from time to time. Lucky for me, I’ve penned novels, assisted with screenplays, and am even involved in the video game industry now. Some would say my experiences are worth something, but I don’t care. I don’t want to front as a professional reviewer. I like what I like, and I write about it. If you read it, hooray! If not. Meh. Besides, The Gonzo Journals aren’t social media posts. You’ve got to do a lot of fucking clicking to get here!

Also, most times I will only review things I like. As my old newspaper editor told me before she blackmailed me into sexual favors: “There’s enough negativity in the world. Don’t be the person who discourages someone’s creativity. If you don’t like it, don’t review it!” Not a bad quote for a “rapist”, right? The only time I’ll review something I don’t like is if I believe the public is being misled by the above-mentioned social media review Nazi’s.

Some people have shit all over this film but I’m not sure what they expected. Cocaine. Bear. Done. Granted, it does suffer from a bit of Michael Bay syndrome by introducing way too many human characters the viewer gives two poops and a poke about, but it’s fun. I laughed aloud at least a dozen times. I can’t say that for too many films these days.

Elizabeth Banks – aka the director and beautiful actress known for her work in The Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect series – has an obvious love for the 80’s. For me, this is easily relatable. The soundtrack to this film is top freaking notch.

The bear is CGI, but the special effects flaws here and there are forgiven since it’s a movie about a bear who does cocaine. The humor and gore are spot on perfect and normally go hand in hand. Then again, maybe I’m just a twisted bastard who laughs at the fictional misfortune of others. I’ve never rooted for a bear so much in my life. I didn’t care who the human characters were or why they were involved, I just wanted them all to die horrifically. Most of them did.

The scenery in this film is absolutely beautiful but I’m a sucker for trees, rivers, and mountains. The characters are all inconsequential who seemed to phone in their performances. I mean, they were all cast in a movie about a bear who does cocaine. No need for the Oscar clips. Still, none of this matters. We came to see a bear fuck shit up. She does. Yes, the bear is a “she”. Star Wars alumni Alden Ehrenreich lets us know that at one point loud and clear. Also, I believe this was Ray Liotta’s final film. What a way to go.

I have cared about zero Elizabeth Banks directed films in the past but this one may very well be the brainless passion project which makes her skills as a director shine in future films. This is a B movie if there ever was one and thank the powers that be for that. I don’t go to the movies for “the message”. I go for the bears. And the cocaine. And the jokes. This film had an abundance of all three.

If you go into this film looking for realism, you won’t find it. The story is based on actual events but the real bear over dosed and died before reaching Cocaine Bear levels. This film was meant for one thing and one thing only. To appease the psychopath inside all of us by watching a bear ravage a dozen or so people while on drugs. It’s best watched in crowds or slightly under the influence. Several of the theater goers last night seemed to partake in a bit of stimulant themselves before the film even began. Coke heads are always too loud for my taste. Annoying, really. Too expensive for my very minimal involvement in experimental drug culture.

The only thing that would’ve made this film better was if Johnny Depp portrayed Hunter S. Thompson tracking down the bear in a sort of D.B. Cooper scenario. Eventually, Thompson out-cokes the bear and subdues him by biting the bear’s head off. Maybe we’ll get that in a sequel. Or Meth Gator. Or Cocaine Bear vs Meth Gator. Who gives a damn. It’s a bear snorting cocaine and killing people in hilarious ways.

Don’t watch this film because I liked it. Watch it because you want to. You know you do.

4/5 powder covered stars



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