Bear (2010)

Bear (2010)

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They thought they'd encountered Yogi, but it was just a normal bear.
They thought they’d encountered Yogi, but it was just a normal bear.

Twitter Plot Summary: Two couples break down in a remote forest where they kill a bear. The bear’s mate arrives to unleash carnage.

Five Point Summary:

1. When killing a bear, is a full clip of bullets absolutely necessary?
2. The other bear approaches and is not happy!
3. So are they actually going to get out of there or not?
4. Pointless revelations…
5. The outcome we were all expecting.

There are certain expectations when going in to see a film called Bear. The first of which is, of course, the expectation for at least one person to shout “BEAR!” at a critical moment, whilst pointing in horror to an offscreen beast. That this never happens is perhaps the biggest travesty of all, in a film filled with travesties. As the story gets sillier and the action doesn’t improve, the lack of a good “BEAR!” moment is the real killer.

So how do we end up in this sorry state of affairs? Well, two brothers and their respective female partners head out into the wilds in their trusty people carrier. After their car breaks down, the older, more unhinged brother spots a bear ambling towards them and chooses to unload a full clip of bullets into it. As you do. Understandably, the bear’s mate takes umbrage at this gross injustice and sets out to teach the four very silly humans a lesson, spending the rest of the film stalking them. In perhaps its biggest mistake, the script attempts to put some deep metaphysical meaning to the process of being attacked by a killer bear, but to say it takes a ham-fisted approach would be an understatement. It’s a film called Bear and features a group of people being attacked by one – no deep metaphysical meaning is necessary. Just show us some carnage and some proper bear attack action and we’ll leave happy. Bear struggles to do even that, its poor man’s version of Jaws 4 (itself a poor man’s Jaws) is restricted by a boring location, poorly lit footage and, again, that terrible script.

The bear's stalking skills were second to none.
The bear’s stalking skills were second to none.

The characters (I didn’t bother remembering their names – and to be honest it really doesn’t matter) don’t seem to have any idea what they’re doing, jumping in and out of their car with an alarming frequency and no doubt intended by the makers to breathe some life into the story and keep viewers engaged. They could get attacked at any moment! Maybe they could be rescued by passing vehicles! Maybe that hollow log is a good place to hide! Nope. The thing is, this whole concept would work if the characters displayed even the smallest amount of logic. Instead they make arbitrary decisions that have the appearance of progress being made, but instead they’re really just standing still from a narrative perspective.

Given that most of the film features the four of them sat in the car talking and not much in the way of bear action, there is an attempt in the second half to jazz things up by generating a somewhat contentious family revelation that is entirely predictable and unnecessary. Throw in a statement from the younger, seemingly more sensible brother that the bear is judging them for their actions, and in one line of dialogue any possibility for good will towards the film is thrown out of the window. To be honest, there was very little in terms of good will in the first place. Other than the aforementioned faults with location and lighting (don’t even get me started on the performances) the direction also lacks energy. We’re supposed to believe that these four morons are in terrible danger, instead it often feels that the bear is just there to give them a hug. Suffice to say, it’s not very good. Not very good at all.

Score: 1/5

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