MONSTROUS MOVIE REVIEW: Cocaine Bear (2023) Will Leave You High on Entertainment

What can I say about COCAINE BEAR? Is it based on a true story? Sort of. Did I love it? Yes. Is Elizabeth Banks a genius? Pretty much! I had no idea what to expect when going it to see this movie. Elizabeth Banks has a winner with COCAINE BEAR, a perfect blend of horror and comedy.

According to Esquire: The actual event occurred back in September 1985, when drug smugglers in the Tennessee wilderness accidentally dropped a load of 40 plastic containers of cocaine from their twin-engine aircraft. According to The New York Timesthe smuggler, named Andrew C. Thornton II, also died when he exited the plane and his parachute failed. Two months later, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found a near 200-pound black bear dead from ingesting over 75 pounds of the smuggler’s abandoned cocaine.

Dr. Kenneth Alonso, Georgia’s chief medical examiner at the time, told the Times that the bear’s stomach was “literally packed to the brim with cocaine” when it overdosed. The drugs were later valued around an estimated $2 million. The bear’s body was later sent to a taxidermist and given to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Kentucky, where locals reportedly dubbed the animal “Pablo Eskobear” in reference to the Colombian drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar. The bear now resides in Lexington Kentucky’s “Fun Mall.”

COCAINE BEAR opens with the drug-runner dumping the cocaine out of his plane that is going to crash. When he goes to jump, he hits his head, knocking himself out, and falls to his death. We then see what I believe is actual news footage of the real event and then the roller coaster begins. The entire movie is fast paced, and you just never know where it’s going to go.

Stache and Daveed trying to figure out how to get Eddie out from under the passed-out bear.

The characters are perfectly cast throughout and do exceptionally well with a movie that could go either way. You get to know each character just enough so that their actions seem plausible and if they die, your reactions are justified. The effects, though heavily relying on CGI, are well done and come off as very believable. I think this movie is really well put together and Banks has succeeded in a genre that often fails.

Not even an ambulance ride will save you from Cocaine Bear!

I have been a huge fan of Elizabeth Banks for many years. She has never disappointed in any role she has played. After seeing COCAINE BEAR, I am going to be checking out more films that Banks has directed. I am glad that they went with an R rating since the language and gore is important to the film and adds to the humor as well. This movie gets my highest recommendation.

Make sure to check out all of my MONSTROUS MOVIE REVIEWS.

~David Albaugh

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