Cocaine Bear (Maximum Rampage Edition) [Blu-Ray]
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Cast: Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery
Release Date: April 18, 2023
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Inspired by the 1985 true story of a drug runner’s plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it, this wild dark comedy finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow … and blood.
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Inspired by true events, ‘Cocaine Bear’ tells the twisted tale of a drug runner who dumps their cargo when the plane begins to go down only to have a local black bear stumble upon it. After the bear ingests the cocaine it kicks off a rampage that sees the bear hunting for more of the drug throughout the forest while ripping apart nearly everything and everyone in its way. With the missing goods lost throughout the surrounding woods and everyone from cops and the criminals who lost the drugs, along with a mother searching for missing kids and local park authorities arriving within the area for one reason or another, it soon leads to bloodshed and chaos on all fronts as each group clashes with each other while also trying to stay one step ahead of the bloodthirsty, coked up bear on its own hunt.
Directed by Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2, Charlie’s Angels 2019) from a screenplay written by Jimmy Warden (The Babysitter: Killer Queen), Banks does a nice job at the helm of ‘Cocaine Bear’ capably guiding along this goofy, wild and brutal ride while fully embracing its ridiculous nature. The film’s cast includes Keri Russell (TV’s The Americans), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Den of Thieves), Christian Convery (TV’s Sweet Tooth), Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story), Brooklynn Prince (TV’s Home Before Dark), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (TV’s Your Honor), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (TV’s Modern Family), Margo Martindale (TV’s American Crime Story) and Ray Liotta (The Many Saints of Newark), along with more who each for the most part offer fitting performances in their respective roles and help to make this one such a thoroughly enjoyable ride.
‘Cocaine Bear’ is just as ridiculous and zany as its title would imply. It serves up an unapologetically goofy, over the top and consistently hilarious ride that’s as twisted and graphic as it is funny. It never makes the mistake of trying to approach the subject matter in a serious fashion and instead finds ways to embrace its goofy style and increase the level of silliness as it progresses; showcasing everything from kids trying cocaine to the bear going on its drug-fueled rampage as it hunts for more of the drug that it’s already ingested massive quantities of, while never hesitating to rip apart anyone or anything that might come between its next fix.
The film also never shies away from the horror aspect of its story and delivers some almost shockingly gory moments that see everything from body parts and internal organs being shredded, ripped and thrown about as the level of chaos increases and more characters come face to face with the massive animal. It may not be a great movie in the typical sense and it surely isn’t going to be a notable awards contender, but its willingness to accept and embrace its wacky nature and take a full on comedic approach really allows it to become something that horror fans who don’t mind some goofy comedy with their bloodshed are likely to find plenty within to appreciate.
Overall, ‘Cocaine Bear’ is a wild, coked up and blood soaked ride that’s as hilarious and over the top as it is gory and massively enjoyable. It wisely never tries to take itself seriously and its ability to dive into its goofy nature and roll with it helps the film to become an awfully good time that should keep you laughing throughout. It’s certainly ridiculous, but ‘Cocaine Bear’ is definitely recommended for anyone that enjoys a tongue-in-cheek horror comedy that’s amusing as well as surprisingly graphic and unrelenting. If you tend to enjoy similarly toned films then this one should be right up your alley and will be worth giving a chance and paying the price of a rental. The film is also available to stream on Peacock for paid subscribers as of the time of this writing.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Cocaine Bear’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and provides a clean, sharp and beautifully detailed presentation from start to finish without any problems or faults to be uncovered along the way. Everything looks clean and gorgeous throughout from character details to the vibrant colors of clothing, scenery and backgrounds, along with nearly everything else appearing onscreen. It’s a nearly perfect presentation as far as Blu-ray goes and it holds up impressively at all times. Overall, this is a spectacular high definition video presentation that should thoroughly please fans of the film and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack is quite the treat in its own right and delivers a clean, crisp and notably aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send action and animal effects, along with nature content, music and bits of dialogue plus plenty more throughout the various speakers at every fitting opportunity, while also giving the subwoofer some chances to show off its stuff; all while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered problematic in the process. Overall, this is a fantastic 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that makes a great complement to the onscreen fun and ridiculousness and it shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The “Maximum Rampage Edition” Blu-ray release of ‘Cocaine Bear’ features some enjoyable extras that fans of the film should enjoy. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director/Producer Elizabeth Banks and Producer Max Handelman’, along with some ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ (running approximately 4 minutes in length) from the movie, plus an ‘Alternate Ending’ (running approximately 1 minute) and a ‘Gag Reel’ (approximately 2 minutes). We are also treated to a couple Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more; they include ‘All Roads Lead to Cokey: The Making of Cocaine Bear’ (running approximately 9 minutes) and ‘UnBEARable Bloodbath: Dissecting the Kills’ (approximately 8 minutes). Also included is ‘Doing Lines’ (4 minutes) which features cast members reading from the script.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Cocaine Bear’ Arrives on Blu-ray & DVD April 18, 2023 & is Now Available on Digital from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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