Cocaine Bear

15 Blu-ray, DVD

Audiences are often greeted with a message before a film starts, stating that what they are about to see is based on real events, and this is one such film.

However, for her third film behind the camera, Elizabeth Banks pushes the bounds of that particular statement to the extreme, with her film about a certain animal in the wild that develops two rather bad habits – a problem with drugs and a problem killing folk for the sake of it.

boom reviews Cocaine Bear
98, 99...100, coming ready or not!

1985, and playing hooky from school for the day is Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince) and her friend Henry (Christian Convery). They’re off on a little adventure in the Chattahoochiee National Forest, under Blood Mountain.

On their travels they discover a tightly wrapped package, which they realise is a bag of cocaine. It’s quite a discovery for the youngsters, but they’re not the first to make it, as there are a number of these packages littered throughout the forest, and a certain black bear got to them first, and now has a taste for it. So high as the proverbial kite, off its furry tits on coke, the bear goes on a rampage, and woe betide anyone who gets in its way.

boom reviews Cocaine Bear
When I do a press-up, I don't mess around.

So here’s the actual truth about this story; someone on a plane did actually throw its cargo of drugs from a plane in 1985, and jumped out hoping to catch up with it all. Which he did, in a way, just not the way he wanted, as his parachute didn’t open.

And there was a bear too, affectionately nicknamed Pablo Eskobear, that did indulge in a substantial amount of the dropped narcotics, before dying from an overdose. So everything else that happens in Banks’ film you take with a pinch of cocaine.

And to be fair, it’s not difficult, as after a slow start it quickly descends into a series of absurd and ridiculous scenes, one after the other. And boy does it get silly.

It’s no surprise that the film became a viral sensation; let’s face it, the film’s title alone is enough to pique the curiosity of any audience.

It’s a film that you simply can’t take seriously, matching the same sentiment as all the cast involved, including Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Isaiah Whitlock Jr., Alden Ehrenreich, Margo Martindale and the late, great Ray Liotta.

The film itself is a post-modern b-movie, that knows not to take itself seriously in any way, and just has fun with its high concept premise. To that end, with its blend of comedy and gory horror, it’s the kind of film that you can just switch your brain off for, for its 95 minute duration, and simply let its enjoyable drivel wash all over you.

Occasionally you need a palette cleanser in film, especially if you indulge in more cerebral material, of which Cocaine bear is the perfect antidote – just don’t make a habit of it.

we give this three out of five