Drugs and hikers are on the menu in ‘Cocaine Bear’

Ricky Miller, Entertainment Editor

Actor Keri Russell hides from a briefly distracted bear that’s on a cocaine-fueled killing spree. (Photos/Universal Pictures)

“Cocaine Bear,” directed by Elizabeth Banks, features one of the last turns from Ray Liotta, one of my all-time favorite actors. He was stellar in “Goodfellas,” director Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winner. In fact, this movie is dedicated to Liotta. As I have stated in the past, I am not a fan of horror movies, but when it comes to the horror comedies, I am in like Flint.

This movie is just sheer silliness. In any movie dealing with death, you’re supposed to feel empathy for the characters. But when it comes to the knuckleheads in “Cocaine Bear,” who cares? This is loosely based on a true story and loosely based on cinematic stupidity. Still, it was a lot of fun and it made me laugh.

Kristofer Hivju, left, and Hannah Hoekstra play hapless hikers that encounter the bear.

I must talk about the elephant in the room, or in this case the bear in the woods. It’s all computer generated, of course, but very well done.

The visual effects are top notch throughout. Filmmakers have come a long way since early, crude CGI, which is still on display in the “Sharknado” entries.

The characters who need to live, live. But most of the “Cocaine Bear” characters are pure fodder, whose deaths are for pure amusement.

Margo Martindale, a very diverse actress, plays inept park Ranger Liz. She oversees the grounds of the Tennessee forest. A veteran character actress recently appearing in the streaming TV series “The Watcher,” Martindale knows how to weave dynamic parts in everything she’s in. Her aim is a little off when it comes to the bear, however.

Keri Russell, who plays Sari, a single mom nurse, is a joy to watch. Her character is really smart and caring, some of the other characters, I couldn’t bear to watch.

Even cinematic eye candy is fun for a while. You’re likely to be smiling on your way to the car.

Grade: B-