16 June 2024
Out to own on Blu-ray Cocaine Bear from 29th May

(from left) Sari (Keri Russell), Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince) and Henry (Christian Convery) in Cocaine Bear, directed by Elizabeth Banks.

Film Review – Cocaine Bear (2023)

Somewhere above Georgia, a man hatches a fool-proof plan in order to get away scot-free while gathering his stash of millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine. If only he hadn’t hit his head on the plane just as he was about to parachute out to retrieve his merchandise.

Henry (Christian Convery) and his friend, Dee Dee (Brooklyn Prince) live in the area where the cocaine was hidden away safely in the forest and they come across one of the drug filled bags.

However, they also find a bear and that bear has already found the cocaine and after it takes Dee Dee away, Henry realises that nobody will be safe and the bear will come back for more.

Cocaine Bear is a horror comedy directed by Elizabeth Banks which is loosely based on a true story. In real life, a bear did indeed ingest a bag of cocaine, but unlike in the film the bear almost instantly died. He was also stuffed and put on display as a tourist attraction. But whoever let the truth get in the way of a good story?

The problem is that a title like Cocaine Bear is something that is rather unique and if the audience may know a little about the true story, then they may be expecting something fun and frantic which lives up to its outrageous title. Unfortunately, this is where Cocaine Bear falls flat as it may be that our imaginations are never as good as reality.

For a relatively low budget comedy that a movie studio isn’t going to sink a lot of money into, having a large photorealistic CGI bear as its main attraction could also cause problems. This means that perhaps due to budgetary reasons, said bear is used sparingly.

This also means that the movie relies on the cast and despite their being a range of different stories with familiar faces like Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich and Ray Liotta, it does slow down the pace. After all, audiences are coming to see a bear go on a drug fuelled killing spree and they will be made to wait until that happens.

Unfortunately, Cocaine Bear is a case of expectations meeting reality and although there are some funny moments, the insisted realism of the bear weighs down the story. Cocaine Bear comes out on blu-ray on May 29th and includes deleted scenes, a gag reel, an alternative ending and a behind the scenes featurette.

Comedy, Horror | USA, 2023 | 15 | Blu-ray, 4K | 29th May 2023 | Mediumrare Entertainment | Dir. Elizabeth Banks | Keri Russell, Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Isiah Whitlock Jr.

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