6.3/10
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164 user 92 critic

Formula 51 (2001)

The 51st State (original title)
Trailer
2:09 | Trailer

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An American master chemist plans to score big on a once in a lifetime drug deal. All does not go as planned and he is soon entangled in a web of deceit.

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Writer:

1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Elmo McElroy
Nigel Whitmey ... L.A. Highway Patrol
Robert Jezek ... Priest
... Dakota Parker
... The Lizard
Jake Abraham ... Konokko
... Mr. Davidson
Aaron Swartz ... Mr. Yuri
... Mr. Jones
... Mr. Escobar
Sonny Muslim ... Boy in Plane
Barbara Barnes ... Boy's Mother
... Mr. Ho-Fat
... Felix DeSouza
... Frederick
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Storyline

Elmo McElroy is a streetwise American master chemist who heads to England to sell his special new formula - a powerful, blue concoction guaranteed to take you to 'the 51st state.' McElroy's new product delivers a feeling 51 times more powerful than any thrill, any pleasure, any high in history. But his plans for a quick, profitable score go comically awry when he gets stuck in Liverpool with an unlikely escort and his ex-girlfriend and becomes entangled in a bizarre web of double-dealing and double-crosses.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of shady characters and dirty deals, this is just business as usual. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, drug content and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

18 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Formula 51  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£913,239 (United Kingdom), 9 December 2001, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,817,719, 20 October 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,204,007, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

They changed the name of this movie to 'The 51st State' from 'Formula 51'. See more »

Goofs

When DeSouza and McElroy are being chased in the red Jaguar, you can see that there are pyrotechnics under the car as it pulls of the sidewalk. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elmo: I mean, rules are like, arbitrary, you know. Made up for people who believe in fairy tales like, you know, like Santa Claus. Hey, but not us, right? I mean, we know what's important. There's a war going on, man. A war. Ain't that a bitch?
[cop sucks his teeth]
Elmo: I just graduated today, man. With honors. Got my degree in pharmacology. I'm licensed. Look, if you write me up on this drug charge, I won't be able to practice. So what we're talking about here is, is my life. The rest of it.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Shortly after the credits start there is a short segment with Elmo on the Golf Course outside the castle on the post card See more »

Connections

Featured in Granada Reports: 7 June 2018: Evening Bulletin (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Rag Ahir Bhairan
Written by Day
Licensed by kind permission of Boosey Media
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User Reviews

 
Best Quentin Ritchie Spin-off ever
28 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

It's easy for any of us to resemble the 'comic book guy' from the Simpson's and rant for days about this belated release mimicking the action/comedies of the last decade. Don't. This is not 'Get Shorty' nor 'Who is Cletis Tout?'.

Plot: A unfortunate jinx leads a chemist to an underground drug world. With clever calculations at foot and in mind, he devises an intricate plan for early retirement. Then Liverpool happens.

Granted, the first time I watched it seemed like a product from a 'Quentin Tarantino' screen writing class. Upon watching a few more times it becomes clearer that there is no other fault. Had this movie arrived before such 'Res Dogs' type movies it may have been the golden boy of this new genre (not-likely). But it still stands as a light-weight contender. The situations are cleverly drawn, the acting is very comical and the casting is on the money. The fast drawn shots keep the pace, the thunderous soundtrack imports the ambiance, and the British ghetto lingo always reels you in to the lovely slums of Liverpool.

Bottom Line: Better Title 'An American Drug Dealer in Liverpool'


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