Movie review: ‘Cocaine Bear’ a refreshing boost for campy movies

Going back to the way movies should be



Watching a bear swallow a kilo of cocaine is a sight to behold

PARKER R. SCHAFER, Evergreen columnist

Rating: 7/10

“Cocaine Bear” was made the way movies should be made. It was by no means perfect, but it definitely maybe might be one that I would see again.

The campy aspect of this film was done wonderfuly where it really did not overstay its welcome and seemed to want to maintain that 1980s feel that so many goofy movies have. This felt almost like “Scream” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” where the gore and death goes hand in hand with comedy and lightheartedness.

A huge bonus for this movie, it is (loosely … very very loosely) based on a true event.

“Cocaine Bear,” tells the story of a black bear back in December 1985 who came across a dead drug smuggler and consumed the cocaine that he was moving.

According to the New York Times, in real life, the bear absorbed three-to-four grams of cocaine into its blood system even though it probably ate more.

In the movie, the bear consumes an exorbitant amount of cocaine, swallowing whole kilos throughout the film. This not only provides comedic relief but … well, I guess that’s it, it was purely comedic relief.

Inspired by the true story, the movie takes an overexaggerated take to allow for the bear to not only devour more cocaine than Scarface could ever own, but gain the superhuman (or should I say super-bear) strength and speed of every god combined.

The movie starts off with some wonderful comedy. The drug smuggler is tossing duffle bags of cocaine out to the ground so that he can recover them and complete the handoff. However, when he goes to jump out of the plane, he hits his head so hard that he is left unconscious and falls out of the plane to his death.

This created an audible laugh from me and many others in the theater, showing that we were starting off on a high note.

The first time the bear is shown, there is clearly something wrong with the animal. The bear is banging its head against the trees and stumbling around until it spots two hikers. The hikers try to stay calm, but inevitably lose one of their members.

Once the bear has had a taste for cocaine, she only wants more. Throughout the B-storyline and every other aspect of the movie, the bear’s only desire is more cocaine.

The beast will stop at nothing to get high.

A passing moment that truly shows the comedy in this movie is after one of the camp rangers accidentally gets covered in cocaine while he was running from the bear.

In a high state of mind, the ranger climbs a tree to escape. For those who do not know, black bears are excellent climbers, and this movie shows that they are even better when they are coked out of their minds.

The bear bounds its way up the tree and consumes the man as he dangles from a branch. In one of the next shots, the man’s leg falls from the tree and the bear jumps down after. The bear starts smelling the ground around the appendage and then promptly snorts a line off of the severed leg.

There is a B-story about some kids who get lost and some drug dealers trying to recover their cocaine, but let’s be honest, we are all just here to see a big bear eat mass amounts of cocaine and go on a beautiful rampage.

This movie had every potential to overindulge and take itself way too seriously, but it stayed away from becoming slow and monotonous. This movie is by no means a flawless film, but it feels like it was done in a way that was fun and familiar. It was campy, goofy and, other than the gore that comes along with a bear on drugs, truly wholesome. There is a lot of family aspects that play into the movie which give it a sweet contrast to the comedy of the bear.

For example, A huge part of the B-story is two kids getting chased by the bear and their mother coming to save them, this movie spends time making you feel for the kids and the mother.

I would recommend everyone go see this movie because it is a fun watch, regardless of your age. I mean it is a bear on cocaine, who can say no to that?