“Apex predator… high on cocaine… and you’re going towards it?”


Loosely inspired by an absurd real event, Cocaine Bear is deliberately stupid but unabashedly honest in its intentions — if what you are after is a rampaging wild bear blowing through a remote American community, you will be entertained. Elizabeth Banks’ direction revels in the gore as much as the comedy, and often both simultaneously as the film lines up its victims. Unsurprisingly the bear is a digital effect (courtesy of Wētā) and it bumps against the monster movie rule that the threat is greater than seeing it. Despite a sprightly 95-minute running time, the script swiftly runs out of ideas with cracks appearing around the one hour mark and it hews so closely to the monster movie formula that it becomes predictable despite its inanity. Despite a few flakey performances, most are nothing to sniff at, but only the ever-reliable Margo Martindale’s park ranger is worthy of note. Cocaine Bear is no pearl, then, but it provides enough to enjoy if your expectations are limited to it doing exactly what it says on the tin.