Cocaine Bear 2023 is an American comedy horror thriller directed by Elizabeth Banks. Inspired by the true story of the “Cocaine Bear,” Jimmy Warden wrote this film. Cocaine Bear features stars like Emmy winner Margo Martindale (The Americans), Emmy winner Ray Liotta (The Many Saints of Newark), Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones), Kahyun Kim (American Gods), Christian Convery, and Brooklynn Prince.
The film is dedicated to Liotta, who died in May 2022.
Almost at the end of 2019, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, The Mitchells vs. The Machines) announced that they would be producing a horror comedy movie inspired by a true story. The producers wanted Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett to direct, but both declined to work on something else.
Universal Studios confirmed the film’s development on March 9, 2021. It was also revealed that the film would be directed by Elizabeth Banks and produced by Max Handelman. The cast for this film was unveiled throughout July and August 2021.
Filming took place in Ireland’s County Wicklow from August 20 to October 17, 2021. The production budget was $30-35 million, which a large portion went to Wētā FX for CGI bear creation.
Cocaine Bear runs for about 1 hour and 35 minutes.
From Cocaine Bear, Inspired by the true story of a drug runner’s plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black Bear that ate it in 1985, this wild thriller brings together an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists, and teens in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow and blood.
COCAINE BEAR OFFICIAL TRAILER.
COCAINE BEAR FILM REVIEW.
How do I begin? This film is bizarre, though captivating and engaging. I was glued to my screen almost throughout the movie because it was funny, cringy, and thrilling.
A man who is most likely high on something is seen on a plane at night throwing bags down while dancing. The ‘high’ guy, who we would later discover to be Andrew C. Thronton II (Matthew Rhys), tries to jump down from the plane along with the bags he previously threw down, but he falls on the plane and to the earth as head hits the topmost part of the plane door.
In the morning, he is seen dead by an 85-year-old man.
Now, the fun starts.
After some drugs, primarily cocaine, was discovered around where Andrew fell, Andrew is identified as a known drug dealer who works for Syd (Ray Liotta), a drug Lord, the police officer Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) suspects that more drugs are lying around.
Syd invites Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), a friend of Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich). Eddie is Syd’s son and a very close friend of Daveed. They both work for Syd, but since the death of Eddie’s wife, Eddie has refused to get back to the game and has not seen his son since he began mourning his wife.
Syd wants Daveed to talk to Eddie so he can stop sulking and get back in the game so they can retrieve the millions worth of cocaine that fell in the forest. David looks for Eddie and finds him in a bar, drinking himself into a stupor. When he finds Eddie, they both head out to look for the remaining cocaine.
Officer Bob is told that the Syd guys (Eddie and Daveed) were spotted in a local bar in Georgia, so he heads there to apprehend them even though it was out of his jurisdiction.
Things get more interesting when a couple of teenagers skip school to paint a waterfall in the forest where so drugs fell. On their way to the waterfall, they come across a pack of cocaine and taste it by putting a certain quantity in their mouth, only to spit it out. As Henry tries to clear his throat of the cocaine he had just put in his mouth, they hear a bear growl and take to their heels to seek a place of refuge.
When Dee Dee’s mom Nurse Sari (Keri Russell), gets a call that her daughter isn’t in school, she gets worried and heads out to the Park ranger’s Ranger Liz (Margo Martindale) office to seek help. The Park ranger, who was with her crush, a wildlife activist Peter (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), joins her to rescue her missing daughter.
So now, the police are after the Syd guys, Syd is after the drugs, the park ranger and her crew are after the kids, and the kids are trying to flee from the Bear.
I really enjoyed this film. It made me laugh, and it also made me question if these events really happened. The sarcasm and the extreme of some acts hurt this film’s believability, though making it more intriguing and fun for me. Many might disagree and might stop watching when they see some extreme scenes but not me.
The fact that this is based on an actual event is mind-blowing. This film is gory as hell. Imagine someone falling from an ambulance and her face scrapping the coal tar as she bounces herself to a stop or someone’s hand being bit off, and you see the hand dangle and fall. That’s some ridiculously gory stuff.
I enjoyed each character. They all want their role in this film as they show chemistry and sync, especially Eddie and Daveed. They made the movie much more enjoyable with their sarcasm and some of their disagreements. Eddie’s character is the most believable in this film.
The performance of Henry and Dee Dee also stood out for me. The chemistry they showed was amazing. When Henry tries to prove to Dee Dee that he had Cocaine with Faulk after church while Dee Dee tries to counter his word as she feels he isn’t telling the truth.
Finally, on characters, there was a tiny little character whose role was to sit pretty and be cute. That character is Rosette, a dog. I loved the role the she played. Even though her position was minor, the she excelled at it.
The sound and scores are excellent. The cinematography, too, was great. As I stated before, a lot of money was put into the CGI aspect of the movie to make the Bear, and you can see how realistic the Bear is, how it walks, and how it even attempts to climb trees. I won’t mention the team of makeup artists as they did an excellent job, if not great, as a lot of makeup was used for the blood and cut/injury scenes.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to IMDB, The original “cocaine bear,” also known as “Pablo Escobear” in jest, is on display at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky. According to unconfirmed stories, it was originally owned by Waylon Jennings.
Some critics may think otherwise, but Cocaine Bear is a perfect movie. It’s funny, entertaining, and sarcastic, and it is mainly based on imagination as it tries to answer the question of ‘What if the bear from the true story hadn’t died?’. The film had me glued to my screen.
Would I recommend it to you? Of course. I enjoyed it, and you would too.
People also watch – Missing 2023.
All images used belongs to the producers Coaine Bear.
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