A cool blend of contemporary & retro culture

‘Cocaine Bear’ chucks political correctness out the window (along with millions of dollars worth of A-grade Charlie)

Cocaine Bear‘s synopsis isn’t exactly a complex one, but it is one heck of a funny film that harks back to the early ’80s when Hollywood hadn’t even heard of the phrase ‘political correctness’.

The story is about a bear in the woods that comes across a stash of cocaine – like, lots of it – and ends up getting hooked on the drug, going bear-shit crazy every time it takes a hit of the white stuff.

The film stars Ray Liotta in one of his last ever roles (before passing away in 2022) and while in title and nature it doesn’t exactly read as the most credible addition to an actor’s filmography, Liotta does do a fine job in playing a down-and-out drug dealer.

Of all the characters in this movie, his is probably the most seriously taken one – hellbent on delivering a multi-million dollar drug order – or else it’s kaput for he and his family.

The most fabulous characters is obviously the bear who, unlike most avid cokeheads that just want to talk your ear off with boring self-boasting anecdotes, actually puts on a great show. That she wasn’t given a name is shameful since she really does steal the show: doing a little dancing, tree-hugging, playing angel wings in the snow, even humping a tree or two!

The rest of the players in this fast-paced comedic flick are enjoyable; some out-and-out funny – like the kids who sample cocaine for the first time (remember, no political correctness here whatsoever), or the burly park ranger who is more interested in scoring with her co-worker than she is helping search for lost souls.

Even when characters are brutally killed by the coked-up bear, there’s a certain comedy attached to the scene, so that half the time you’re wanting to close your eyes to shield you from the gore but find yourself falling into fits of laughter.

Cocaine Bear is the perfect film for right now, right when we can all do with some cheering up. It’s not Hollywood trying to be woke (thank goodness); not Hollywood trying to be glamorous. And while it’s steeped in 1980s ethos (Depeche Mode are on the soundtrack!), it rarely comes across as daggy retro.

Produced and directed by funny girl herself, Elizabeth Banks, this is a feelgood film that proves you don’t have to mind your Ps and Qs to make a modern (well, retro-set) movie.

See it for what it is: an absolute laugh.

Antonino Tati


‘Cocaine Bear’ is in cinemas now.

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