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Elizabeth Banks Does It Again With Cocaine Bear

BY MAHI KUMAR

When I was asked to watch a movie premised on a bear who had swallowed a significant amount of cocaine, my expression was bewildered to say the least.

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18 April 2023

Cocaine Bear may have come out a while ago, but I'm still not over how out the gate it was!

Upon some research, I discovered that the film ‘Cocaine Bear’ is inspired from the true story of the cocaine bear (also known as Pablo Escobear), an American black bear that ingested nearly 34 kilograms of cocaine which was dropped in the wilderness in Tennessee on a drug smuggle in 1985.

What really sold me on it though was that it was directed by Elizabeth Banks (who’s comedic talents we definitely shouldn’t question…), this movie far exceeded my expectations I had for it (which to be fair… wasn’t spectacularly high). Elizabeth Banks has been directing since 2015, and has been extremely well received by critics over the years, so I knew that this would be amusing to say the least.

Elizabeth Banks is an actor turned director. Who could forget her as Effie in the Hunger Games?. Or Miri in Zack and Miri Make A Porno. Let’s also not forget the fact that she directed and produced Pitch Perfect 2… She’s funny, witty, and a true exemplar to us women. She’s a female becoming a master of everything and saying fuck you to the men of the industry.

When Conan O'Brien had Elizabeth Banks on his show, he asked her to be his friend. She responded that she was cautiously optimistic about this suggestion but proceeded. He hosted a dinner party where the attendees were invited to play a group game and Elizabeth won because she's a cut throat bitch. Conan said that she absolutely revelled in it and shoved it in everyone's faces. Kudos to her because that’s exactly who I’d want at my dinner party.

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Anyway, back to the film, it followed interwoven plotlines as a 500-pound female black bear consumed drugs and embarked on a drug-fueled rampage, tearing people apart and menacing through a mountain in the Georgia Forest.

My reasons to rave about this film is not for its intricate writing or interstellar level of depth, but because it was what a movie fundamentally should be; entertaining. Labelled as a dark comedy thriller, it delivered exactly what it should, and then some.

It was unexpectedly funny and remarkably inappropriate at times, causing laughter and spouts of giggles to erupt from the audience at random times. The movie was universally funny as we saw the various characters dealing with the bear and trying to get out of the mountain. You had a very likeable detective there to find the drugs that were dropped - some teenagers wagging from school excited to visit a waterfall, the drug dealers looking for their lost cocaine, and some avid hikers enjoying nature.

To put it as succinctly as I can, I believe that Banks culminated the perfect combination of a film that was fast paced, highly energetic, extremely humorous and yet a violent ride all the way through. This is such an apt representation of her humour and comedic delivery.

This Universal Pictures film released 24 February 2023 and features a star studded cast of Ray Liotta, Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Game Of Thrones’ very own Kristofer Hivju. It was very well received, grossing $55 million in the box office. It’s only one of the best received films of the year!

So here’s to you E-Banks! You’re a baddie and so incredibly smart, and showing us all that being 49 doesn’t stop you from being sexy, witty and with the times.

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