Is Cocaine Bear a good movie? Of course not. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s irrelevant compared to a more pressing question: is Cocaine Bear a fun movie that capitalizes on its ridiculous premise? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is also a resounding no.
I’ll give the movie some credit: there is a bear that does, in fact, do cocaine. While this is funny during the opening scene, the novelty of the meme quickly wears off, and you then realize you’re only five minutes into a 90-minute movie — the entirety of which revolves around a single joke. There simply isn’t a movie here to back up this premise. The deaths are repetitive, failing to escalate in any exciting way, while rarely leaning into the absurdity of a bear on cocaine. Only one scene in the entire movie — the bear chasing an ambulance — embodies the mayhem you would expect to ensue from a coked-out bear; unsurprisingly, it’s a standout sequence the rest of the film can’t live up to.
Yet Cocaine Bear‘s fatal flaw is that it feels overly manufactured. This isn’t just a movie that can easily be memed; it’s a movie specifically designed to be a meme. At every moment, the movie’s characters have to wink — or, more accurately, scream — at the audience to remind you that there is a bear on cocaine, lest you get bored and start shifting in your seat. Even worse than being in on the joke, the characters are desperately trying to convince you that the joke is funny; they’re well aware that the allegedly ‘wild’ and ‘crazy’ scenes of the bear can’t speak for themselves — or perhaps that this whole thing is a meme nobody will remember in more than a week.