Cover: The 51st State Rating: 0
18 sep. 2005


Regisseur:Ronny Yu
Theater Verschijning:2001
Studio:Momentum Pictures Home Ent
Releasedatum:okt. 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 an off licence.
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 a kilt wearing black American as a fish out of water in Liverpool, a place where (to him) 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. Jackson and Carlyle are both of course excellent and they are ably supported by Emily Mortimer and Rhys Ifans, in his first decent role since 'Notting Hill'. Ronny Yu gives the movie a good snappy pace and the script is full of good comic and action set-pieces as well as one liners. It does have its flaws though. In particular 'The Lizard' played by Meat Loaf is a pretty weak villain, there is not enough of Ricky Tomlinson as the haemorrhoid troubled Leopold Durant and there was too much profanity for my liking. Overall though this made for a good night out at the movies and I'd definitely recommend it.