6.3/10
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161 user 97 critic

Formula 51 (2001)

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

Director:

Ronny Yu

Writer:

Stel Pavlou
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Elmo McElroy
Nigel Whitmey Nigel Whitmey ... L.A. Highway Patrol
Robert Jezek Robert Jezek ... Priest
Emily Mortimer ... Dakota Parker
Meat Loaf ... The Lizard
Jake Abraham Jake Abraham ... Konokko
Mac McDonald ... Mr. Davidson
Aaron Swartz Aaron Swartz ... Mr. Yuri
David Webber ... Mr. Jones
Michael J. Reynolds ... Mr. Escobar
Sonny Muslim Sonny Muslim ... Boy in Plane
Barbara Barnes Barbara Barnes ... Boy's Mother
Junix Inocian ... Mr. Ho-Fat
Robert Carlyle ... Felix DeSouza
Paul Barber ... 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:

Have a Nice Trip See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Formula 51 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,817,719, 20 October 2002

Gross USA:

$5,204,007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,881,605
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel L. Jackson became a Liverpool FC fan after starring in this film. See more »

Goofs

When making the jump onto the garbage barge, the Jaguar's hood is shown lifting. It is down in a close-up of the passengers, and then open again in the next shot. 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.
[...]
See more »

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

References Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Shamrocks and Shenanigans
(Butch Vig Mix)
Written by Leor Dimant (as Dismant) / Erik Schrody (as Schrody) / Danny Boy O'Connor (as O'Connor)
Published by BMG Songs, Inc./Immortal Music/Lethal Dose Music
© 1992 T-Boy Music LLC/Irish Intellect Music
Performed by House of Pain
Licensed Courtesy of Tommy Boy Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Quirky, Fish-Out-Of-Water Flick
29 October 2006 | by brando647See all my reviews

I am not really sure what the appeal of this movie actually is. It's definitely not the action, since fights are simple and few and far between. I wouldn't think its the comedy, since the premise of pretty much every joke is the same. It seems the majority of the humor in this movie is Samuel L. Jackson's character dealing with the differences between England and America and Robert Carlyle's character's disgust with Americans. Of course, every-so-often, we get a dash of toilet humor to mix things up. Pretty simple. Nothing special.

And yet, somehow, this movie manages to stay entertaining enough throughout the bulk of it. My only guess is that it comes from the charisma of the cast and characters. Samuel L. Jackson defies logic by kicking ass in just about every movie he's in, whether the flick's good or not. Robert Carlyle's energy and enthusiasm is enough to prevent me from getting annoyed with his constant whining. Emily Mortimer plays the soft-spoken, sexy assassin hired to bring in Jackson's character. And Meat Loaf....well....Meat Loaf bothered the hell out of me. His role as the Lizard, the big-time American drug dealer and previous employer to Jackson, is over-the-top and completely unconvincing as someone who would have rose to power in the American drug market. At times, he is just downright aggravating to watch (especially when he starts ranting and referring to himself in the third-person).

Fortunately, Meat Loaf (and a nearly as annoying Rhys Ifans)are not enough to completely drag the film down. It manages to stay quirky enough to keep entertaining and you shouldn't feel as if you completely wasted the last 92 minutes of your life. My advice? Check it out once, it's a hit or miss.


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