Cocaine Bear

In the not too distant past, L&D headed off to the late Marcus Tuesday screening to take in what was certain to be a memorable event, however it went, and it went exceedingly well.

“How good could a movie called Cocaine Bear be?” you ask.

Well, the L&D mantra of late is “To ask the question is to answer it.” Cocaine Bear is exactly as good as it can be, it’s hard to imagine that it could have been any better. It’s ridiculous, it’s funny, it’s thrilling, it’s gross, it’s surprising, it has star power, it’s remarkable across the board.

To say the movie is based on “true events” is akin to saying The Wizard of Oz is based on true events — indeed, a young woman got caught in a storm and hit her head once. As for the rest, well.

The intertwining plotlines fall somewhere between serviceable and solid. Keri Russell gets top billing as the mom tracking down her cheerfully truant explorer daughter and pal (Matthew Rhys sneaks in, as well). Isiah Whitlock, Jr. has cop buddy detail, he’s the one chasing down the big lead. Margo Martindale puts on a tub of lipstick as the lonely ranger setting a honey trap. There is a smattering of young park thugs who get more than they bargained for in the affair. And it’s Ray Liotta himself as the exasperated crime figure in what was his last major role.

There are a number of laugh out loud moments, though laughter did not seem uniform throughout the theater. The opening scene with the drug runner gleefully tossing bricks of coke out of the plane is surprisingly hilarious. The entire EMT sequence is surprisingly inspired . And the finale featuring Liotta shows some surprising intestinal fortitude.

So big ups from L&D, if you think you might like Cocaine Bear, you should head out and see Cocaine Bear.

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