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Formula 51

77 customer reviews

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(Feb 04, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Samuel L. Jackson (XXX, Changing Lanes) and Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, The World is Not Enough) star in the coolest, wildest action spectacular of the year. From director Ronny Yu, and writer Stel Pavlou and co-starring Emily Mortimer (Lovely & Amazing, Scream 3) and Meat Loaf (Fight Club, TheSalton Sea). Elmo McElroy (Jackson) is a master chemist and the genius behind a designer "wonder" drug worth a cool $20 million. After ceremoniously blowing up his lab (and bosses) in Los Angeles, heheads to Liverpool, England, in search of a buyer for his new party favor. But in between dodging an assassin's bullets and trying to stay one step ahead of the law, Elmo finds an unlikely partner ina small-time gangster (Carlyle). Hang on tight for an action-packed thrill ride that you'll never forget!

Special Features

  • Cinemax special: The Making of Formula 51

Product Details

  • Actors: Samuel Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, Meat Loaf
  • Directors: Ronny Yu
  • Producers: Andras Hamori, Andras Hamon, Jonathan Debin
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KK50
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,428 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Formula 51" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. Sparks on February 22, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'll skip the plot summary, and I won't pretend to be a film critic. I'm just a regular guy, and I love this movie. Set in Liverpool, England, some of us "Yanks" might not get all of the humor. Having been to England, I got most of it. It's funny, has some good action, and the story is pretty good. Robert Carlisle is one of the best under-recognized actors in entertainment today. Sam Jackson, in a kilt...who woulda thunk it? The whole cast seems to have pretty good chemistry. If you have a couple of hours, and you're looking for a pretty good flick to pop in, get this one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 2002
You either loved this movie or you hated it. Thats what it came down to. I thought it was really good, dont go to this movie for the action though, but its a frickin hilarious comedy. Sam Jackson proves once again that he is the coolest man in movies today. The only problem i had with this movie is the constant, constant swearing. I dont care if they swear a few times, but they must have used it every other F-ing sentence. But other than that this is a great movie. Some confusing parts but go see it anyways.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jonny Rotten on November 17, 2004
Format: DVD
This is one of those films that you can watch once ,put down for a few weeks/months,and on a Friday,or Saturday night with nothing to do,watch again.My main complaint is the ammount of swearing throughout the film.I do believe this is one of the few films that gets placed in the Guinness Book Of World Records for using the "F" word dozens&dozens of time,and its many combinations.It has what I consider the "Hollywood Formula Screenplay" to make a "style" film.Quintin Tarantino set the pace with Resevoir Dogs,and there were many carbon coppies made after.Some good,some bad,and yes...some ugly.The soundtrack to this film,while mysteriously unavailable is great throughout the movie and set the film's pace.

All the characters are entertaining,and while a little over the top&over zealous at times,it all fits with the way the film was intended to play.The only character I did'nt care for was the "female assasin".She was unbelievable as an assasin in every way,shape&form.The guns she fired were parcticaly bigger than she was,and looks like (if in the real world) she would'nt even be able to hold up any of them to aim strait enough and hit the broadside of a barn.All in all,this movie is just fun to watch with a group of friends.Break out the beer,popcorn&whatever else you like to consume while watching a flim like this,it's a kick.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. VINE VOICE on August 14, 2006
Format: DVD
This film is all about style, humor and pace and not about character or plotting. In this regard it is an enjoyable ride, albeit a silly and energetic one. The hyper directing from Yu really suits this and he does well even if he is not really very original in regards his shots etc. The editing fits with the formula set by Ritchie and is pretty much what you expect. What makes the film stand out from the rest of the copies is that it actually is quite good fun to watch (as opposed to some copies that are just cheap and nasty) - never hilarious but it is energetic enough to pull you along with it no matter how silly it gets. Of course it has weak points - a few characters are too daft and, whenever the overall plot is the main focus then it struggles.

Despite this the cast do well to keep things moving and they play a massive part in making this work. Jackson may not be doing anything new or wonderful here but he is key to the film working and he is worth every penny they must have paid him. He has great presence and he brings a lot of fun and energy to the film in a way that his lesser co-stars cannot. Carlyle is a good actor but he pales in comparison to Jackson in this - he isn't helped by the awful accent he is lumbered with and the fact that he is a little irritating. Mortimer is annoying as her character is just daft in the context of the plot, but not as annoying as Meatloaf who is easily the worst thing in the film. The support cast includes reasonable turns from Pertwee, Ifans, Tomlinson and Barber but this is Jackson's film 100% and it is difficult to imagine it being as enjoyable without him.

`Formula 51' a.ka.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. Carnegie on February 11, 2002
Now this is something of a rarity, a British action comedy that actually delivers and is as good, if not better, than many of the so-called action comedies Hollywood occasionally delivers. It of course stars an American, the king of cool himself Samuel L Jackson, it's also part-financed by American money and it is directed by Ronny Yu but it's still essentially a British movie, written by Stel Pavlou (not a very British name, I know) whilst working in liquor store.
Master chemist Elmo McElroy (Samuel L Jackson) has apparently invented the recreational drug to end all recreational drugs but the trouble is he's in debt to a nasty villain known as The Lizard (Meat Loaf). So he flees the country, with The Lizard's ruthless hit-woman Dakota Phillips on his tail, to sell the formula to British gangster Leopold Durant (Ricky Tomlinson) in a multi million dollar deal. Arriving in Liverpool he is met by the American hating, soccer loving Felix DeSouza (Robert Carlyle), and they are forced into a partnership of convenience. Cue many cross-cultural misunderstandings and laughs as DeSouza, mocks Jackson's kilt wearing character; "fag?" he enquires when offering him a cigarette. "So let me get this straight. `Bollocks is bad whereas dogs bollocks is good, right?" enquires Jackson.
Undoubtedly influenced by Quentin Tarantino, The 51st State takes a quintessentially American movie genre and gives it a British spin. It sets kilt wearing black American as a fish out of water in Liverpool, a place where the people are strange and the language is even stranger. But is he fazed by any of this? No, of course not. Not one iota, as he struts about in his kilt carrying his golf clubs and occasionally wielding them to dispatch the numerous bad guys.
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