‘Cocaine Bear’ is a masterclass in absurdity


Cocaine Bear premiered in theaters Feb. 24 2023 to generally mixed review.

Allison Scherquist, Entertainment Editor

Drugs, gore, and wildlife. All these concepts have one thing in common: they were one of the main focuses in Elizabeth’s Banks 2023 film Cocaine Bear. The comedy-thriller premiered in theaters on Feb. 24. 2023, it followed the adventure of a ragtag group of oddballs venturing into a forest each for separate reasons, all coming together at the end to discover that the one thing more important than cocaine is family.

The film stars Keri Russell as Sari, a mother looking for her lost daughter Dee Dee (played by Brooklynn Pierce) in the forest where Cocaine Bear roams. She stars alongside Alden Ehrenreich, a drug trafficker arriving at the bear’s habitat in search for the missing cocaine.

The actors’ performances can both be described as simple, neither cast member delivered any especially touching moments, yet they were both able to tell their jokes well and keep audience members entertained.

Where the film does shine is in its idiocy. The movie doesn’t shy away from its strangeness, it fully embraces its absurdity; this is perhaps best exhibited in the scene where the titular bear snorts cocaine off of a severed leg. The characters are likable- but not so much so that you’ll feel bad when they get ripped apart.

The beloved Cocaine Bear claws, eats and mutilates several park-goers in several beautiful bloodbaths of scenes. The bear is shot at, attacked and provoked but continuously comes out on top, resulting in several audience members in theaters cheering for the abomination of an animal.

The only complaint of the film is that there is not enough of the actual Cocaine Bear. The film has far too many characters and side plots that they become too complex for what should be a simple slasher movie. However, these elements align towards the end of the film and make for an oddly sweet ending stressing the importance of family.

Despite some minor lapses in judgments at the hands of the writing team, the movie delivers as promised: You watch a bear do cocaine.