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FORMULA 51

 
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At Theaters: 10/18/2002 On Video: 2/4/2003
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 42 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 409987
Studio: Sony Pictures Inc.
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Storyline Heading
A streetwise American master chemist heads to England to sell his special new formula, a powerful blue concoction. But his plans for a quick, profitable score go comically awry when he gets stuck in Liverpool with an unlikely escort and becomes entangled in a bizarre web of double-dealing and double crosses.
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Action Comedy - Very similar to "Pulp Fiction." It's extremely profane and violent with lots of drug use. It's also funny, if you enjoy this type of very dark humor.

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Cast and Crew Heading
Samuel L. Jackson XXX, STAR WARS: EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES
Robert Carlyle THE BEACH, ANGELA'S ASHES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
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Production Notes Heading
Not provided by studio.
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Over 100 F-words (many preceded by mother)
SEX/NUDITY: Some partial nudity and implied sexual activity.
VIOLENCE: Bloody violence throughout. Nearly every scene has some type of violence.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: This whole movie is about drugs.
ACTION: Lots of action throughtout.
COMEDY: It a funny movie if you enjoy very dark Pulp Fiction style humor.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Average

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Good "It is possible, however improbable, that a "bad" movie can still be highly enjoyable. Formula 51 is such a film. The dialogue is cheesy, the direction is hamhanded, the screenplay is chaotic, and the acting is over-the-top.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Poor "Here instead of the descent into the filthiest toilet in Scotland we get a trip through the most bilious intestinal tract in Liverpool;...''

TV Guide Online  Full Review
Below Average "But this larky, laddish crime story, which could be described as a romp if it weren't so unrepentantly crude, never manages to get into a groove and swing.''

Newsday  Full Review
Above Average "And none of it matters, because the Formula isn't about anything but being aggressively cinematic, something Yu is very good at while leaving plot, character and structural soundness to others so inclined."

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 9 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
20-29Yg Adults (M)
1
Fairly High
100%
30+Adults (M)
4
High
100%
30+Adults (F)
4
Fairly Low
50%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

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OPINION GRAPH


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
The story of Elmo McElroy (Samuel L. Jackson), 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 Felix (Robert Carlyle) and becomes entangled in a bizarre web of double-dealing and double crosses.

Elmo McElroy made one little mistake in 1971, he was caught smoking pot, while driving home from his graduation. In the blink of an eye, his dream of being a fully licensed pharmacist went up in smoke like the joint in his hand.

Fast forward to 2001 and McElroy is on the wrong side of the tacks. Left with no choice, he's been forced to use his professional talents illegally in order to make a living. He wants out of the business badly, and he has an ace up his sleeve. It's a formula that's going to change his life and set him up for a terrific future.

A wonder chemist, McElroy has created POS-5, a party favor that promises to be a "personal visit from God." The coup de grace is that this new creation is made from entirely legal ingredients.

McElroy's boss, The Lizard (Meatloaf), an unsavory fellow with a skin condition, plans to sell POS-51 to a syndicate of the world's top dealers. But McElroy has other ideas and they don't include The Lizard.

After staging a chemical "accident", at the Lizard's headquarters, McElroy takes his invention to Liverpool to sell it. But what McElroy doesn't know is that his old boss is alive and well and has dispatched the sultry Dakota (Emily Mortimer) a tough beauty with a sniper rifle and a matching attitude, to track him down. 

Dakota knows Liverpool well. It's where she left her ex-boyfriend Felix (Robert Carlyle), a tough, cranky, chain smoking fast talking hood. Felix now works for Liverpool's biggest thung, the man with whom McElroy is about to make a $20,000,000.00 deal. 

And Felix has been assigned to escort McElroy while he's in town. And so begins a tempestuous relationship, one that is cemented as rivals, cops, cars and the occasional pedestrian are systematically taken out of the equation by the formidable partnership of Elmo and Felix.

For the arrival of the American chemist and his blue magic has sparked a good rush the likes of which the city has never seen. Rival dealers would do anything to get their hands on the formula.

Everyone, club owners, cops, a gang of inept skinheads and The Lizard, wants a piece of the action.

Who will outsmart whom? Who will doublecross their best friends and former lovers? Who will walk away with the formula? Will the good guys retire to a castle in Scotland, or will love get in the way?

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