Director: Elizabeth Banks
EDIT: After posting, I was reminded that Banks also directed Pitch Perfect 2 and Charlie's Angels. I want to thank the commenter here (Nate C!) and the one on tumblr who mentioned this. Also, a big reminder to check IMDB before I hit publish.
Sometimes a movie is exactly what you thought it was going to be, but is also what what you were *hoping* it would be, while also being *better* than what you expected. It's a peculiar equation, but in the middle of this particular triangle of expectation vs. reality, we find Cocaine Bear (2023).
Now, Cocaine Bear is not for everyone. I read a few reviews that were quite cross about "nothing happens, it's just a bunch of sequences". And, sort of. But, also, that's exactly the point. This is a movie about the joy of a rampaging bear fucking people up. And, frankly, if you think the *many, many* movies about people getting picked off one-by-one are deep character work with the bear/ shark/ what-have-you as merely a framework, I have some property to sell you in Arizona. A few are, 90% of them are filling time. Elizabeth Banks, here in her first feature directorial effort, utterly understands the assignment.
Banks cuts out any character development to the "bare" minimum. The bear is not a metaphor. It is not retribution. It is not even a force of nature, for in nature, bears do not do massive amounts of coke. While technically "man vs. nature" is our conflict, nature has consumed massive quantities of cocaine.