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

Rhys Ifans and Emily Mortimer also appeared in Notting Hill (2001), though Mortimer only had a cameo role. See more »

Goofs

When Dakota and Felix's mother are talking the soap on the window disappears and reappears. When there's a close up on Dakota through the window, the soap is there. The faraway shots with both actresses in the shot there's no soap. 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 Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

How It Is
Written by Caspar Kedros (as Kedros) / Darius Kedros (as Kedros) / Jones / Francis / Sir Menelik (as Collington)
Published by Chrysalis Music Ltd./Alice Blue Gown Music (ASCAP)/
Joanna Francis (Publishing Designee)/Star Of The Empire Publishing (ASCAP)
Performed by Headrillaz feat. Ultra Naté (as Ultra Nate) & Sir Menelik
Licensed by kind permission of Meanwhile...
Ultra Nate appears Courtesy of Strictly Rhythm Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best Quentin Ritchie Spin-off ever
28 July 2003 | by callaway76See 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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