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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4%
Worth A Look: 24%
Average: 8%
Pretty Bad: 12%
Total Crap52%

1 review, 19 user ratings

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Formula 51
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by Chris Parry

"Couldn't be any more 'over the top' if it was written by Richard Simmons."
1 stars

Oh boy, this one's a doozy. In a year made notable by the endless supply of dreary comedies, ridiculous villains and action scenes that threaten to induce frenzied yawning, Formula 51 may just hold the record for the most of all the above. A British action/comedy featuring Samuel L. Jackson as an excuse for a US release, this is a film so ridiculous, so obvious, so ludicrous, that it may just make you dumber. One thing's for sure, you'll not hear as many curse words in any other four movies combined than yoú'll hear in this one. And some of them will be coming from the audience...

Samuel L. Jackson is Elmo McElroy, a pharmacist forced into the world of drug labs by the possession charge he picked up in his youth. With a strong desire to make one final score and get himself out of the business forever, Elmo decides to blow up his boss and take his reputed 'super drug' formula to the English competition where he can make a killing.

His boss, a ridiculous individual called the Lizard (Meatloaf), is the sort of movie villain that reminds you that nothing you're seeing on the screen is even close to real. Continually referring to himself in the third person, the kaftan-wearing Lizard has (for some reason) burns across half his head and a monumental attitude problem. Remarkably, despite the awful nature of, and Meatloaf's performance as, this character, he's not even close to the worst villain in the film.

Coming a close second is one of the heroes of the show, Felix DeSouza (Robert Carlyle) - a Liverpool football shirt-wearing wanker with a penchant for swearing, being a pain in the tit and generally causing you to wonder why he's even in the film. AS best as I can tell, he's in the film so we can have a sex scene late in the movie, involving him and his ex-girlfriend, who happens to be a hitman (hitwoman just doesn't sound very threatening) out to kill, then not kill, then kill, Samuel L. Jackson.

If that makes about as much sense to you as having Anna Nicole Smith do your taxes, allow me to continue - it only gets worse.

Also on the list of folks harassing 'inaction' L. Jackson is another drug lord, this one played by Rhys Ifans. Anyone who has had enough of seeing Rhys Ifans going bulgy-eyed and looking like a madman in feature films, congratulations, our number is strong. If 'The Lizard' is a moron, this guy is the moron's retarded brother Daryl.

But even lower on the evolutionary scale than retarded Daryl is the pack of skinheads who follow Jackson around trying to steal his drugs. About as smart as a rather educationally challenged herring (on acid), their demise just happens to be one of the most embarassing moments ever captured on film. Not for the actors so much, as those who conceived it. I won't go into great detail, but you'll not laugh - you'll cringe.

Adding to the disappointment is one of the worst last acts ever seen in an action movie, complete with plot twists so un-clever that you can not only see them coming a mile off, but you think to yourself the whole time "surely they're not going to do that... they couldn't... oh, they did." - this is about as sad as it gets, and it's no surprise the film sat on the distributor's shelf for almost a year since it was released in Europe. This is most definitely a filler-film, and one that should be avoided by anyone who fancies themself as smarter than that herring.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/08/02 15:02:11
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User Comments

2/28/17 Louise Well I watched till the end so it wasn't THAT bad, but still - pretty silly! 2 stars
8/31/06 chris. jackson believes this film received less acclaim than it deserves. i don't. 1 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW It's not the best but, it's far superior than "Double Team"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
5/24/04 Butterbean This could have been a much better movie. I was thoroughly disappointed. 1 stars
5/16/04 The More You Know the hollywood formula has reached the "51st state"...if u ain't seen it, it's new 2 u, huh? 1 stars
1/08/04 nina No wonder the ynaks didn't like it - it's clever, funny and takes the piss out of yanks. 4 stars
10/19/03 Uncle Salty Jackson cannot say no to a script, even a piece of shit like this 1 stars
3/29/03 grace had it's moments... 3 stars
2/04/03 Tulsa Slut Samuel L. Jackass really needs to get a life! 1 stars
12/28/02 Colin Selby if it hadn'.t been raining i wouldn't have bothered 2 stars
11/17/02 Tim Taylor Great movie, just lots of action and fun!! Bollocks to you twats that didn't like! 4 stars
11/15/02 Buddha Never funny, never fun. 2 stars
11/06/02 JP This is the worst film I have seen in the past 3 years. Abominable plot holes etc 1 stars
10/23/02 Zaw Pretty fast and funny movie 4 stars
10/22/02 Anarchy Azmi c 4 stars
10/21/02 Paul C English humour, Good movie for cheap tuesday :) 4 stars
10/18/02 Mark Durston Clearly not a movie for the sense of humor impaired. Had a riot of a time watching this. 5 stars
10/09/02 Uncle Salty Further proof Sam Jackson will jump on ANY script in front of him. Please, PLEASE STOP! 1 stars
10/09/02 Darren Shea plays more like a decent Hong Kong action flick than a mainstream American film. 3 stars
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  18-Oct-2002 (R)



Directed by
  Ronny Yu

Written by
  Steve Pavlou

  Samuel L. Jackson
  Robert Carlyle
  Sean Pertwee
  Rhys Ifans
  Emily Mortimer

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