Once upon a time, deep within the woods by Georgia’s Chattahoochee River, a bear stumbled upon a cartel’s stash, ingested $2m value of cocaine and … died. If the near-inescapable marketing for this movie had you idly questioning, “What would occur if a bear did a load of cocaine?” that is the underwhelming however factual reply, supplied by a 1985 news report.
That’s not a lot of a film, nonetheless, so screenwriter Jimmy Warden has as a substitute imagined what may have occurred if that 175lb black bear had gone on a coke-fuelled murderous rampage. The result’s this movie, and never since 2006’s Snakes on a Plane has a title promised a lot leisure, so succinctly. However is that this movie, like that Samuel L Jackson automobile, additionally fated to be blown off-course by the recent air of its personal hype? And, relatedly, do bears defecate within the woods?
Cocaine Bear begins promisingly with a second of superlative, hair-rock-soundtracked slapstick from Matthew Rhys, and has intermittent hedonistic highs all through. Banks’ course goes for the gore with admirable gusto, peaking – too quickly, alas – with a really wild ambulance-pursued-by-bear chase. This forged is ok too, that includes the late Ray Liotta looking like Henry Hill again from witness safety, and The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince making good on her early promise. However these are revered character actors. There’s nobody right here who can be shameless sufficient to straight-face a line like, “I’ve had it with these muthafuckin snakes on this muthafuckin airplane!”, even when Warden’s script had thoughtfully offered one.
There’s additionally no bear behavioural knowledgeable, spurious or in any other case, to speak us by means of what occurs to the ursine mind on cocaine, ideally with wall charts and diagrams. The CGI bear appears OK – it suffices for a couple of soar scares – however true suspense would necessitate a story buildup, equivalent to a coked-up equal of Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum may present. There’s a category A premise for a B-movie in right here, however Cocaine Bear is simply too sober to get excessive by itself provide.