If my plan has worked, you’ve clicked on this article to express your anger at the outrageous AND VERY REAL opinion proposed in the title. Flawless execution on my part.
I am a firm believer that not all movies have to be high art– sometimes, we just need something that is entertaining. Now, I would like to qualify this by stating that I do not believe that these lighter movies need to be poorly written or actively bad. There is a balance that must be reached, and in my opinion, Cocaine Bear is both entertaining, while also being pretty funny if I do say so myself.
I would like to issue a warning before we proceed. This review will have spoilers. I am going to repeat that for those who have already tuned out: THIS REVIEW WILL HAVE SPOILERS.
I’m going to jump into this review assuming you have some sort of idea of what happens throughout Cocaine Bear, but here is a brief synopsis: After throwing a large amount of cocaine out of a plane, a drug dealer sends two of his men– one of which is his son– to recover the stash. Uh oh! There’s a bear in this forest and, shocker, he has consumed most of the cocaine! Whoopsy! What’s the bear gonna do? She’s gonna go on a rampage and kill everything in sight. Good times.
I think the most anticipated part of the film– apart from a bear doing copious amounts of cocaine, of course– is that this is one of Ray Liotta’s last projects. In all honesty, he did a great job and he’s still just as menacing as he was all those years ago in Goodfellas. It’s nice to see him take a movie like Cocaine Bear and take it just as seriously as some of his older projects, and in my mind, it makes me happy that he would want to be involved in such a fun and silly film. I believe that Liotta starring in Cocaine Bear was a nice way to round out a fulfilling career, and a choice that will allow people to remember Liotta in his final days fondly.
On the topic of the film’s stars, I was extremely impressed with O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Alden Ehrenreich’s performances as the mismatched drug dealer duo trying to retrieve their supply from the forest. The pair had great chemistry and played off of each other wonderfully, creating a dynamic that was entertaining to watch throughout the film. I hope that this film allows them to venture further into obcure comedy, because I really think they shine in this context.
In many ways, Cocaine Bear has been the first slasher film in recent memory that has united people in a way that I think we as a country have needed given the events that have taken place over the last few years. For so long we were unable to enjoy films as they were meant to be seen: on the big screen, in a dark theater, with strangers around us. Going into a theater to see a film with such an outrageous premise is oddly freeing. I was able to laugh along with those who had taken the time out of their day to all converge in a single room, and my God did it make the experience more enjoyable. Films are a thousand times more enjoyable when you can laugh along with others. No matter what the film– Cocaine Bear included– it’s thrilling to see a movie on the big screen and take in the sights and sounds of the world that was created.
Also, I fully enjoyed the inclusion of the Cocaine Bear on stage when Elizabeth Banks was presenting at the Oscars the other night. I think we need more people to put on animal costumes and allow hijinks to ensue on national television… it’s truly a lost art form. While I deeply enjoyed this cameo, we are not going to talk about the Cocaine Bear’s interaction with Malala during the awards show… although the sentence “Cocaine Bear, leave Malala alone,” was not a sentence I expected to hear in my lifetime.
Overall, I’m happy with this film and I had a damn good time watching it. I mean, what more can you ask from a movie entitled Cocaine Bear? It’s going to be a silly little movie about a bear that gets addicted to cocaine and would subsequently kill numerous people in a forest for it. Perhaps that’s what we need in such a stressful day and age– some cocaine, a bear, and a forest to watch the hijinks ensue.
Featured image via Mercedes Ohlen.
Mercedes was The Crescent’s Editor-in-Chief from 2022-2023. She graduated from Tulane with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She enjoys going to the movies, fashion, and writing about the great city of New Orleans. She will be pursuing a career lifestyle journalism, publishing, or a job within comedy upon her graduation from Tulane. No topic is too obscure, and no story too niche. Roll Wave!