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Cocaine Bear is part comedy, part horror and part parody... and a massive disappointment

Film review: Cocaine Bear (15) – seen at The Light Cinema, Wisbech

Starring: Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr and Ray Liotta

Running time: 1hr 35 mins Director: Elizabeth Banks

Cocaine Bear (62605861)
Cocaine Bear (62605861)

Part comedy, part horror and part parody, this film doesn’t quite know which direction it wants to take the viewer, ending in massive disappointment.

The characters are one dimensional and forgettable, the plot is clumsy and laboured and even though the run time is just 95 minutes, I was looking at my watch well before the end.

The whole idea for the film is both ridiculous, intriguing and,believe it or not, loosely based on a true story.

Yes, in 1985, a 175-pound American black bear fatally overdosed on cocaine dropped by drug smugglers in the United States’ Tennessee wilderness.

This film imagines what would have happened had the bear lived... and had contact with humans.

So far, so good, but the film lacks direction from the very start, as a group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converge on the Georgia forest where the bear, off its head, is starting a murderous rampage.

It’s definitely comedy to start with as we meet loved-up hikers Elsa and Olaf, whose Scandanavian traits are exaggerated to saturation point until Elsa is killed by the bear.

Next to the forest are school-skipping students Dee Dee and Henry. Their scenes are more drama than comedy, especially when mum Sari (Keri Russell) searches for her missing girl.

She does so along side park ranger Liz and Peter, a wildlife activist, who seems to have had the same comedic direction as Olaf.

Admittedly, shortly after Peter is killed and ripped apart by the bear, it is shockingly funny to see it snort cocaine off one of his his severed legs... but the laughs don’t keep coming.

Cops, dealers and delinquents are also drawn to the site for various reasons, and at the end we are treated to a cameo by the late, great Ray Liotta as drugs kingpin Syd, but even his final movie scenes are pretty much colour by number.

This film didn’t make me laugh enough, it didn’t scare me and it definitely didn’t tug at the heart strings. It basically failed in everything it was trying to do.

Rating: 5/10

By Jeremy Ransome

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