Cocaine Bear (Elizabeth Banks, 2003, USA)

Cocaine Bear is the third film directed by actress-turned-director Elizabeth Banks. Adapted from a script by Jimmy Warden, the film takes significant creative liberties with a true story about an American black bear that ingested significant amounts of lost cocaine in the wilderness of Tennessee. In the real case, the bear simply died - it was not known to have killed anyone between the time it ingested the cocaine and died. In this film, the bear becomes a monster, wreaking havoc throughout the woods. Produced by directing duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the film bears much of their sense of humor (21 Jump Street reboot, The Lego Movie).

In some cases, the synopsis of the movie is in its title alone. Cocaine Bear is one such case. The star here is the bear, and the bear looks damn good. Needless to say, many of the deaths are over-the-top, but they are done convincingly. The bear, however, is not the only star of the film. Our lead is Keri Russell from The Americans. Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson Jr. also features significantly in the film, as well as Alden Ehrenreich (Solo). The film also notably features actor Ray Liotta's last onscreen role.

Cocaine Bear was a decent success at the box office, raking in almost $90 million worldwide on a $30 million budget. We here at Cinephilic Musings are personally glad to see creature features making a comeback. While this is an upgraded version of films like Grizzly, it delivers on its meme-worthy premise. Whether it will be considered a classic for years to come is up for debate. But one can't deny that this is a fun film in both execution and spirit. Praise to Elizabeth Banks for pulling this one off, and a good performer in a bear suit.



Popular Posts