Known as ''Formula 51'' [[MarketBasedTitle in the United States]], this is a 2001 British film about a pharmacologist named Elmo [=McElroy=] attempting to peddle the formula for a new drug he's created called POS 51, which he claims is "fifty-one times more powerful than cocaine, fifty-one times more hallucinogenic than acid, fifty-one times more explosive than ecstasy."

When the deal goes wrong and everyone involved ends up dead, he realises that his ex-boss, whom he thought he'd already killed to prevent him seizing the drug for himself, is very much alive and would like revenge. Assisting his boss is the Dawn/Dakota, the expat ex-girlfriend of his British contact, Felix [=DeSousa=]. Assisting neither party and trying to help himself is the highly CorruptCop Virgil Kane.

Thus [=McElroy=] is forced to team up with his British contact and find a way to both survive and profit from the debacle.

Intriguingly, RottenTomatoes indicates that more top critics appreciated the film than regular critics, with averages of 50% and 26% being given respectively. However, the film flopped in theatres, recovering only about half it's $27 million budget. Turned out it was BetterOnDVD, with a final verdict of 4 out of 5 stars on Netflix.


!!This film contains examples of:

* ArmsDealer: It's one of Iki's many ventures.
* ArtisticLicenseChemistry: The utterly impossible titular Formula 51;
-->'''[=McElroy=]''': ''MDMA utilizes serotonin. Opiates, like heroin, utilize dopamine. Like the sensation you get after sex. Amphetamines increase adrenaline. Cocaine gets those synapses in the brains firing really fast. My product is 51 times stronger than cocaine. 51 times more hallucinogenic than acid. And 51 times more explosive than ecstasy. It's like getting a personal visit... from God.''
** It's likely that [=McElroy=] is just making a sales pitch, but to be able to take a bunch of over-the-counter ingredients and make, well...
-->'''[=McElroy=]''': [[spoiler:''This is the most expensive '''candy''' on the market. The drug's a fake, you know. It's bogus. It's what we chemists call a '''[[PlaceboEffect placebo]].''' It's whatever you want it to be. You can run all the tests you want. It will look like the best shit in the universe. But the ingredients, they cancel each other out.'']]
* BritainIsOnlyLondon: A notable aversion, as the film's British parts (ie, almost everything) are set entirely in [[UsefulNotes/FootballPopMusicAndFlatCaps Liverpool]], with London not even getting a ''mention'' (aside from Arthur calling Kane a "cockney twat")
-->'''Felix''': ''Listen to this, I'm in fucking Florida, right. This southern prat comes up and he's like, uh, "Hey! England's small. You must know that John Fuckin' Smith guy, right?" Fucking Smith. I'm like, "oh yeah, yeah mate. That's right. John Smith, yeah, I do know him, but, uh, he doesn't come from England mate, no, he comes from fucking-''
-->'''Felix AND Frederick''': '''''PRICKSVILLE, USA!"'''''
* ButtMonkey: Arthur is clearly Kane's. [[spoiler: He gets revenge in the end]]
* CastingGag: The film's idea was conceived of before Creator/SamuelLJackson made it big, with LaurenceFishburne being considered for the role of Elmo. See ShoutOut for the gag.
* ChekhovsGun: The chemical cocktail [=McElroy=] uses to blow up The Lizard at the start of the film. [[spoiler:Since he takes the drink intended for Iki, it actually does kill him in the end.]]
* ClusterFBomb: Almost everybody in the cast is liberal with these, but special mention must go to Felix and the Skinheads.
* CurbStompBattle: "Battle" is definitely overdoing it, but when the skinheads run at Elmo in the hotel lobby, he quickly finishes them with his golf club.
* CorruptCop: Kane
* CountryMatters: Used casually (though infrequently) by Kane as is typical of the British attitude to the word.
* DramaticGunCock: "Take a puff on this!"
* FemmeFatale: Dawn appears to be one of these to Felix, which is slightly strange considering there's no noir elements to speak of present.
* GoldFishPoopGang: The skinheads
* GoryDiscretionShot: [[spoiler:The Lizard's death is shown this way... Kind of. The viewer doesn't ''technically'' see him explode due to drinking a heat-sensitive explosive cocktail, but one does get to see the resulting LudicrousGibs cover the windows of the luxury box, then a walkthrough of the room, and Virgil Kane splattered with liquified Lizard.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: Dawn, predictably.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Golf clubs being used to batter in the skinheads.
* LargeHam: The Lizard is a huge one, and sticks out because nobody else (save of course Creator/SamuelLJackson) comes close. Iki perhaps excepted, but it seems more normal with him.
* ManInAKilt: [=McElroy=] is seen in one for most of the film. The WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue revealing that nobody knows just ''why'' he was wearing it in the first place.
** TheStinger lets the secret out, though: [[spoiler: it's the tartan of his ancestor's slavemaster. [=McElroy=] buys his title and land with a portion of the 20 million.]]
* MarketBasedTitle: Known as ''Formula 51'' in the United States. Why isn't exactly clear, but the pejorative connotations of the original title presumably had something to do with it.
* NotQuiteDead: The Lizard.
* OopNorth: The film's British sequences are all in Liverpool.
* PopGoesTheHuman: [[spoiler: The Lizard's (real) demise.]]
* RhetoricalRequestBlunder: An unfortunate miscommunication occurs when [=DeSousa=] asks one of his assistants to "take care" of a nervous chemist. The assistant then goes into henchman mode, [[HilarityEnsues kills the chemist and stuffs him into the car boot]], instead of following the intended meaning which was "[[DontExplainTheJoke look after him]]"
* RoomDisservice: "That fucking chestnut" - inverted. Room service bring up Durant's sausage n' mash while the drug deal is taking place, and his mooks pull and unsuspecting maid into the room and hold her at gun point, believing that they have been rumbled.
* ShoutOut[=/=]TakeThat: [=McElroy=] offers the skinheads a [[Film/TheMatrix red pill or blue pill]] in a combined shout out to the film, CastingGag relating to the original idea of LaurenceFishburne for his role, and take that to fans who keep mistaking Jackson for Fishburne. Iki also references ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'' when explaining that the twenty pieces of paper he has in his hands (bonds) constitute 20 million, since he doesn't want to heft gold bars around.
** BTW, you ''[[ don't]]'' want [[PottyFailure the red pill]].
* TalkToTheFist:
--> '''Skinhead''': Felix [=DeSouza=], just the wanker I wanted to deal with!
--> '''Felix''': Deal with this! (rams his elbow into the skinhead's face behind him)
* ThereAreNoCoincidences: Felix insists that Shit Happens...
-->'''[[Creator/SamuelLJackson Elmo McElroy]]''': ''No, Shit don't just Happen. Shit takes time. Shit takes effort. Twenty million dollars worth of effort.''
** In other words, your car breaking down just in time to strand you in the middle of nowhere as a snowstorm starts is a coincidence. A twenty-million-dollar drug deal being busted up by a professional assassin just before you close escrow? That's somebody with more cash than he knows what to do with wanting to make your life hell.
* ThirdPersonPerson: The Lizard
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: "Stay down, bitch!" from [=McElroy=] to one of the skinheads.
* TitleDrop: The Lizard refers to Britain as the 51st state during his last scene. [[spoiler: He detonates messily seconds later. Take that you pompous septic!]]
* TheVoiceless: The replacement chemist Durant uses, his muteness being due to a bullet in the neck - the same place another one strikes later, killing him.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: A very very brief one, showing that [[spoiler:Dawn and Felix settled down together - but only after the game]]. What happens to [=McElroy=] is shown in TheStinger.