Cocaine Bear: Hit or Flop?

The cocaine bear itself, seconds after mauling a person (as shown in the movie “Cocaine Bear”)

The cocaine bear itself, seconds after mauling a person (as shown in the movie “Cocaine Bear”)

What more could a bear want than a duffel bag full of cocaine? Turns out the answer is multiple duffel bags of cocaine. The comedy-horror film “Cocaine Bear” showcases an American black bear that overdosed on cocaine and went on a killing rampage throughout Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Based on the true story of a bear that fatally overdosed on cocaine in 1985, “Cocaine Bear” spotlights different characters’ attempts at surviving throughout the catastrophe. There is  a wide range of characters and adventures, all packed into a short 95 minutes of run time. 

After seeing its trailer, many were excited to watch the movie for its comedic interactions between characters and the bear. It seemed to be a movie filled with unexpected dialogue and unique characters that made it more intriguing to watch, but not exactly something that had a deep message. Most viewers described it as a silly film made for the sole purpose of giving the audience a good laugh. 

However, there are many different takes on whether it was good or not. People who disliked the movie either did not find the jokes funny, or they felt that it was poorly executed. People who loved the movie said they were laughing the whole time. The movie revolved more around the characters’ reactions and storylines than the actual bear, as it only started to get more screen time around the middle of the film. 

“It was definitely a comedic movie in my opinion,” Lambert junior Anurag Bhagavathula said. “But I was just expecting a lot more comedy and more of the bear instead of the storylines…”

There were about three major plots within the movie: the mom trying to find her kid, the park ranger failing miserably at her job and the drug dealers on a mission to retrieve the scattered cocaine. Some viewers felt they couldn’t keep up with the different plotlines, but others found it self-explanatory and funny.

“It got kind of confusing a little bit at the beginning,” Bhagavathula said. “But towards the middle and end, it made sense to me.”

There was also a great amount of gore in the movie. Since it is rated R, gore wasn’t out of the ordinary, but s3ome scenes are quite eyebrow-raisers. There are multiple parts with limbs torn off, intestines being ripped out and brains being blown out; it’s not for the faint of heart. However, throughout all these deaths and severe injuries, the movie seems to hold onto its comedic tone till the very end. 

In terms of production, it was well made and executed. The bear looked realistic, and so did all the injuries and scars. The slow motion jump into the ambulance in one part was also professionally well done.

“I do believe that the production value was really good,” Bhagavathula said. “ It was very realistic- especially the bear because there has to be some sort of CGI.”

Overall, the movie seems to be rated in the middle. It has a 67% rotten tomatoes which is statistically the majority, but not high enough to make a claim that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It has not been discussed too often on social media or gone viral, so it’s not exactly a hit. 

“Cocaine Bear” was incredibly intriguing and full of surprises and twists. Everyone has their own opinion about it, so people should decide if they like it or not by giving it a try themselves. Be mindful that it is rated R and has a lot of gore, though! Good luck!