I took a psychology course in college taught by a lecturer I'll name Frank.
Despite the fact that this post is about Cocaine Bear, I must first introduce Frank, a psychologist who gave cocaine to pigeons.
I once had the opportunity to ask Frank how he came to choose his "research location" while we were both running late for class and strolling along the green area.
Of course, there is only really one justification for going to see Cocaine Bear: you want to see what happens when a bear takes cocaine.
But, this lowbrow blockbuster's main attraction isn't the titular bear's bloody rampage across the Georgia wilderness.
As Frank and I were both running late for class one day, I had the chance to inquire about how he came to choose his "research area."
You should visit Cocaine Bear if you want to witness what happens when a bear does cocaine, which is the only genuine reason to do so.
The titular bear-on-blow rampaging across the Georgia wilderness is not, however, what makes this lowbrow film so gripping.
However, this premise is questionable. According to research, people's routines and actions don't usually alter when they are more knowledgeable about environmental challenges.
Catastrophe movies like Snowpiercer or Children of Men may be masterworks of cinema and have complex things to say about environmental issues, but they don't exactly promote the positive outlook required to address the very ecological concerns they explore.
Nicole Seymour, an environmentalist and English professor at California State University, has posed a provocative question after recognising this level of environmental despair in both herself and her students.
If pious messaging fails to motivate change, what if environmentalism could "work" better by becoming more irreverent? The film makes it clear right away that it wants to avoid any illusion of illumination.
If Cocaine Bear has a particular target, it might be self-righteous greenies like myself who are always eager to share their expertise and who have a tendency to get sanctimonious about their own meagre environmental initiatives.
The movie is frequently horrifyingly violent, yet there is also a strange kind of consolation in its bloodlust.
In fact, according to literary critic Fredric Jameson, it is exactly because supposedly lowbrow works of "genre fiction" like detective novels or space operas are low-brow that they can introduce their audience to serious subjects.
In this sense, it might not matter whether Elizabeth Banks' movie about a black bear riding the white lightning is considered to be high-quality "cinema."