Cocaine Bear: The True Story Made Into Mediocre Comedy

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According to our Scopo-Meter, we check the following in Cocaine Bear:

Category Out Of 5

FilmScopes thank the creators of the movie for making a film that is so entertaining yet so boring, it is now a treasure for those who seek to enjoy a film while drunk with their friends and/or family.


The Real Cocaine Bear: Pablo Escobear


A stuffed black bear with a green cap and a chain with a sheet that reads cocaine bear
Pablo Escobear


It is the Pablo EskoBear, a.k.a. the fabled “Cocaine Bear” of Kentucky. He is the 175-pound black bear that turned into the state’s most unusual tourist attraction after taking 40 kilograms of pure cocaine. As a result of Sally Denton’s novel of the same name, it starts during the 1980s period known as the “Bluegrass Conspiracy” days.

In those days, a man named Andrew Thornton, a former drug officer turned drug lord, abandoned a jet in the middle of a flight across the USA. Thornton dropped over 40 plastic containers filled with cocaine in the Chattahoochee National Forest while flying a trafficking route out of Colombia.

Sadly, Thornton’s parachute became entangled, and he fell to his death in Knoxville, Tennessee. The cops anticipated discovering a stash of cocaine worth $15 million (£11 million) when they followed his path back through the woodland.

Instead, 40 open containers and a very dead black bear were discovered. The black bear (Pablo EskoBear aka The Cocaine Bear), who had not yet been named, may have experienced the greatest drug overdose in recorded history.

Uncontrollable amounts of cocaine were imported and trafficked into the United States throughout the 1980s, leaving a twisted legacy that is still felt today. From Scarface to Narcos, the 1980s drug trade has served as an inspiration for many works of fiction, entertainment, and even music.

In addition to being based on historical occurrences, they are frequently provocative and go beyond what is considered to be “normal,” whether through lavish spending, violent acts, or dramatic presentation. They are all positively captivating and exhibit some type of gluttony, yet they are also somewhat identical.


Confusing Directions


A woman in pink clothing hiding behind a tree from a black bear
The Cocaine Bear hunting


Action-comedy-thriller by Elizabeth Banks is partially inspired by a 1985 incident in which an American black bear swallowed a significant amount of cocaine and was later discovered dead. What might occur if a large bear went on a ferocious, unstoppable, coke-fueled rampage through the Georgia woods is imagined in the film as a sequence of fantastical scenarios. Along with the old anti-drug PSAs that open the picture, it also borrows certain tempo and stylistic elements from that era.

However, even with the concept of the movie being so jarringly bizarre, the content in Cocaine Bear fails to capture the same awe. The film felt like a tug of war taking place between what should be taken seriously and what should be taken a grain of… in this case, cocaine.

The film starts off strong as a horror/gore film and makes it as bear-themed as possible by putting out straight facts about the hibernating beasts. Yet, it takes a quick turn into a near-slapstick level of comedy after its introduction is complete. The film attempts to make us sympathize with the characters within the film but fails to give the audience any substance as to why.

We are just told that bad things have happened to these people rather than actually witnessing the events being talked about. The most out-of-place normal trope is the gender switch of the bear itself to better fit the script of the film. Yes, you read that right, the most normal thing in this film, is that the gender of Pablo Escobear was changed to BETTER the film.


Did You Know This About Cocaine Bear?


  • After passing away in May 2022, this is one of Ray Liotta’s final performances.
  • Although the final cut still has quite a few brutal scenes, the movie’s original draught reportedly called for significantly more gore.
  • The actual “cocaine bear” sometimes known jocularly as “Pablo Escobear” is on exhibit at Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky.
  • While the original bear was a male, the bear in the movie is a female.
  • The real bear consumed $2 million worth of cocaine, weighing 75 pounds (or 34 kilograms).


Gore And Loose Threads Of Plot


A bear roaring at a person right under its paws
The Cocaine Bear


The only points that save this film from drowning itself in the entertainment department are its use of violence and comedy in a few scenes in the film. The story-telling is as generic as one can expect, however, that is a minor complaint considering the concept of the film does not focus on story-telling all that much anyways.

The gore is definitely up there with bones being exposed and the ripping of the skin. It is one of the key elements of this film that would definitely entertain anyone who felt slightly drowsy by the middle of the film. The scenes pop up as a reminder that this is a film about a bear on cocaine and not some extremely cheap crime thriller.

The film follows more than three subplots all taking place simultaneously to one another. Not to say that any of them are entertaining enough to keep watching the film without the cocaine bear tying into their threads.


Disservice To The Actual Message


Pablo Escobear
Pablo Escobear


Cocaine Bear had the potential to be so much more than what it has been made to be. It could have easily been a message about animal cruelty or the imbalance in the animal kingdom with the interference of humans. Any message that could have actually benefited the minds of our audience was present in the potential of the story.

At the very least, the audience got a movie that is worth watching while drinking. This is clearly a much better and enjoyable movie if it is to be seen with friends and family as they question each plot point of the film while getting intoxicated to negate the frustration of how much it has bent itself to such standards.


Also Read: Secret Invasion: A Dive Into The Secrets Of Marvel Comics

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