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.
Writer Stel Pavlou was working as an assistant in a liquor store when he penned his screenplay. It was sent, on speculation, to Tim Roth, as Pavlou knew that Roth insisted on reading all independent scripts sent his way. See more »
Though Elmo McElroy describes the pattern on his kilt as "the tartan of my former slave masters," the kilt that Samuel L. Jackson wears in character is actually patterned in the hunting tartan of the Clan MacGillivray, NOT that of the Clan McElroy. See more »
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]
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 »
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 »
Written by Nelly (as Haynes) / Epperson
Published by BMG Songs, Inc./Jackie Frost Music
Administered by BMG Music Publishing Ltd./Universal Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by Nelly
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Licensed by kind permission from the Film & TV Licensing Division, Part of Universal Music Group See more »
OK, so the `what' British film industry needs another gangster-flick about as much as Zsa-Zsa Gabor needs another facelift, but this film is worth a look just for the fact that it's not set in London (hurrah!), it's very funny and it features Samuel L. Jackson in a kilt. Coming from Liverpool myself, I loved the fact that someone has taken the effort to make a decent film about my city (the last film set in Liverpool was Beneath the Skin' shoe-gazing rubbish with Samantha Morton, who couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag).
Energetically directed by Yu, with flamboyant performances by Carlyle, Ifans et al. 51st State is difficult not to enjoy. Okay, so it's not very deep and meaningful, and the plot may have been done a thousand times before, but that could just about describe almost every film that Hollywood has churned out this year. With film, as with any other entertainment medium, it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.
Moaning about the dodgy' accents or the depiction of Liverpool as a haven for drug dealers and corrupt policemen is pointless nit-picking and should not detract from the fact that 51st State is a lively, refreshing and ultimately entertaining two hours worth of celluloid. It is also a damn sight better than all the British-films-not-made-by-Working-Title that have been released this year.
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