Earlier this week, social media lit up as users excitedly uploaded the poster for the Elizabeth Banks-directed Cocaine Bear, imagining what a movie with that title might be like. They got some idea today when Universal dropped the bonkers first trailer for the film “inspired by the true story of a drug runner’s 1985 plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it.” The movie, billed as a character-driven thriller, seems to have a good bit of fun with the premise.
The story involves 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 rampage for more blow…and blood.
In the course of things, the bear gulps down bricks of blow which seem to confer upon it drug-fueled superpowers. The beast gallops up a tree after one victim. It outpaces a speeding ambulance whose terrified occupants are trying to escape the bear’s wrath. The animal also has what seems to be a comically-rendered Deliverance moment in the forest with one young victim (played by Alden Ehrenreich). All this action is propelled by smartly-clipped snippets of Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel’s classic, White Lines.
The film stars Keri Russell (The Americans), Margo Martindale (The Americans), Ray Liotta (The Many Saints of Newark), Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones), Kahyun Kim (American Gods), Christian Convery (Sweet Tooth), Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project) and newcomer Scott Seiss.
Cocaine Bear could be an apex box office predator. It’s the only studio entry to date on February 24, debuting in the wake of Disney’s The Marvels on February 17 and ahead of Paramount’s Dungeons & Dragons on March 3.