30 Nov

Elizabeth Banks' Cocaine Bear Has A Scene That's 'Mini Fast & Furious But One Of The Cars Is A Bear'


This post contains spoilers for a scene from the upcoming film “Cocaine Bear.”

Like a drug-addled black bear, the first preview of Elizabeth Banks’ “Cocaine Bear” has just been unleashed on the unsuspecting public, and the movie frankly looks like a wild ride. The red-band trailer for the Lord and Miller-produced film emphasizes the comedy angle of the story about a Kentucky black bear that accidentally ate hundreds of pounds of cocaine in the 1980s, but it also hints at the ferociousness of the titular character. The true story that inspired the movie isn’t nearly as eventful as the version Banks and writer Jimmy Warden created, which is set to re-imagine the bear’s misadventure as a coke-fueled killing spree.

/Film attended a premiere screening event for the film’s trailer earlier this week, where Banks also shared a sneak peek at a full scene from the film. “When I read this sequence in the script,” she shared, “I remember thinking, ‘I want to make like a mini ‘Fast & Furious’ but one of the cars is a bear. And the other car is an ambulance driven by idiots.” The first footage from “Cocaine Bear” delivers on that premise and then some with a balls-to-the-wall sequence that’s gory, intense, and delightfully chaotic. The scene, which appears to be from early in the film, reveals that “Cocaine Bear” won’t just be an off-the-wall comedy, but also a visceral man versus nature horror flick, too.

A Concussion Call Gone Wrong

The scene in question begins with a pair of young paramedics answering what they believe is a routine call at a national park visitor’s center. The two try to enter the front door, but find that it won’t budge. Is it jammed? Is it locked? Soon, we see that it’s blocked from the inside by the bloodied, mauled body of a man. After bickering about the door (this duo isn’t particularly efficient), the pair finally barrel inside, only to discover that this is a lot more than the simple concussion call they expected. The man has a significant chunk of his head missing, and the male EMT (Scott Seiss) declares that he must have been shot. Meanwhile, his coworker (Kahyun Kim) goes to investigate a slumped-over form against one wall — a park ranger played by Margo Martindale.

Already, this footage is much more graphic than the cute, cussing-kids trailer for “Cocaine Bear,” and sets a tense tone, thanks in part to character actor Martindale’s presence. The visitor’s center is in disarray, with a postcard display scattered about and a Smokey The Bear cutout knocked over and smeared with blood. These poor people don’t know the name of the movie they’re in, though, so they don’t realize that cardboard bear is an omen. While gravely injured Martindale tries to speak to Kim’s character, Seiss’ EMT makes his way into a second room, side-stepping the waves of blood ominously undulating from under its door.

Bear Versus Ambulance

Suddenly, he’s there: the bear of the hour, who Banks says the team behind the film affectionately calls “Cokey.” He’s deep in shadow in the corner of the room, eyes gleaming. Seiss’ character nearly doesn’t notice him because he’s knocked over a broom, and when he bends down to pick it up, a severed human head rolls towards him. Meanwhile, the park ranger has been trying rather dramatically to speak, and she finally leans into Kim’s character’s stethoscope to get out one word: “BEAR.”

By the time the EMT turns to warn her coworker, he’s being slammed through the doorway by the door itself, which the bear ripped off its hinges like a kid ripping off a bandage. As he becomes trapped under the door, the bear dripping bloody spit onto his face, his coworker carries the park ranger out to the ambulance, with Martindale screaming that they should just leave him behind. Here, the scene tips over from frightening to borderline hilarious as Martindale’s character gets strapped into a gurney while waving a pistol around, and Seiss’ distracts the bear long enough to leap into the back of the ambulance as Kim’s character puts the pedal to the metal — all while an inappropriately upbeat song blares from the radio.

A Gory Ending

Here’s where “Cocaine Bear” really shows its hand, in a way that’s particularly exciting to me as a horror fan. As Banks mentions, the sequence turns into a sort of car chase, only instead of two cars, it’s a raging, coke-fueled black bear chasing an ambulance that’s dodging around trees as the driver attempts to make a break for it. The back doors are swinging wide open, and Martindale’s character is screaming and shooting around Seiss’ character’s head while trying to put down the bear. Undeterred, the bear leaps into the back of the vehicle in a dramatic slo-mo shot we saw that’s featured in the trailer. That “Fast and the Furious” description is not far off, though these EMTs aren’t expert drivers like that familia.

This scene feels like a bloody inciting incident for the film, so by now, viewers may have come to expect the young medics to live through it. After all, they were framed like protagonists at the scene’s beginning, and we’ve still barely gotten to know them. Nope! Instead, “Cocaine Bear” delivers three shocking, delightfully gross death scenes in short order. We hear a clamoring and growling in the vehicle, then Martindale’s character is launched — still strapped to the gurney — into the street. She lands face down and slides grotesquely along the asphalt. 

Meanwhile, the bear is facing off against the male EMT in the back of the ambulance, and when he’s pushed towards the front seats, his coworker sees that one of his hands is hanging by a thread from his mauled wrist. The bear comes for him again, and in the time it takes her to register this, the ambulance slams into a tree, and she’s forcefully ejected from the front windshield. Cocaine Bear: 4. Naive humans: 0.

We’re Ready To Root For This Bear

I don’t know what I expected from “Cocaine Bear,” but it definitely wasn’t this level of gory horror and dark, absurd humor. The scene left attendees at the sneak preview event shrieking, laughing, and totally shaken up, and it looks like it’s just the tip of the iceberg for a movie that also features Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, Brooklynn Prince, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Isaiah Whitlock Jr, and the late actor Ray Liotta in one of his final roles. Plus, as someone who grew up in the outdoors and has seen plenty of bears in person, I must say, Cokey’s CGI looks great compared to most lackluster bear designs in modern films. Clearly, “Cocaine Bear” is going to be a movie that expects us to give into the madness and start rooting for the bear, and I for one am ready for it.

“Cocaine Bear” hits theaters on February 24, 2023.

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The post Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear Has a Scene That’s ‘Mini Fast & Furious But One of the Cars is a Bear’ appeared first on /Film.

Source: Slash Film

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