Cocaine Bear runs through hikers, campers, park rangers, and anyone else in her path on a drug-fueled rampage, but leaves one important character alive.
Any character goes up against the drug-fueled 500-pound black bear Cocaine bear he’s not likely to make it out of the national park alive, but there’s a reason he lets a character live. Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Cocaine bear is based on the true story of a cocaine-snorted mountain bear that fell out of a smuggler’s plane, taking creative liberties with the number of hikers and rangers who mowed it high into several bricks. In the chaos are Sari (Keri Russell) and her daughter Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince), who decides to skip school with a friend the same day the bear discovers the smuggler’s stash.
Dee Dee and her boyfriend Henry are the first characters Cocaine bear discover millions of dollars worth of white powder in the bushes and decide to try it for themselves. This is all the invitation the bear needs to attack them, and in the commotion, the two children are separated from each other. When Sari finally locates Henry, they begin a hunt for Dee Dee, following her tracks based on spilled paint from her backpack. Terrified that the worst has happened to her, they sink deeper into the forest until they finally reach the mouth of the bear’s cave.
Cocaine Bear’s motherly instincts finally spared Dee
Cocaine Bear usually kills people he meets, from EMTs to teenagers, but he doesn’t kill Dee Dee. While she initially attacked the children for having the cocaine she craved, her maternal instincts were enough to overcome her more aggressive impulses. So when Sari and Henry find Dee Dee in the bear cave after seeing the bear’s high kill count, it’s clear that Dee Dee was taken there for safety. She is even allowed to interact with the two bear cubs, implying that the bear trusts Dee Dee.
The bear also does not attack Henry when it sees him again, implying that it probably would not have killed him, even though it climbed a tree for safety during its first attack. The children reminded her of her own little ones and she probably would have taken Henry back to the cave as well if she hadn’t panicked. But, of course, both children had been taken to the cave, it might have been a long time before Sari or anyone else found them.
The ending of Cocaine Bear continues the Cubs parallels with Dee Dee and Henry
During the waterfall sequence outside the bear’s den, the bear cubs are innocently exposed to cocaine, similar to Dee Dee and Henry taking it in the beginning. Until the end of it Cocaine beardrug smuggler Syd White (Ray Liotta) tries to use cocaine to distract the bears and escape with what’s left of the duffel bag, and because the bear still sees her cubs in Dee Dee and Henry, she tries to protect them from the violence brought to her home by his greed.
Eventually, the bear and her cubs are allowed to live (for now) and Sari makes it out of the national forest with Dee Dee and Henry, some of the only survivors of the bear’s brutal killing spree. Maternal bonds transcend species and prove more important to survival than anything else. If a continuation of Cocaine bear it will be interesting to see what fate has in store for the bear and her cubs and if they will ever see Dee Dee and Henry again.
MORE: Why Cocaine Bear Cut a Death Scene According to Elizabeth Banks