Formula 51

Bomb Rating: 

Just say NO.

I think all you have to do is look at Guy Ritchie's chosen life path, his marriage to Madonna and his decision to stick her in one of his films, and suddenly the question of whether to imitate him becomes much easier. Much like drugs, you just say NO.

But not director Ronny ("Bride With White Hair") Yu, who sticks Samuel L. Jackson in a kilt and has him running all over England trying to sell this miracle drug of his that's 51 times more powerful than crack or cocaine or getting kicked in the balls by a mule. And how exactly does one figure out that something is 51 times more powerful than something else? I guess you just take the drug dealer's word for it. The whole premise for Elmo McElroy's (Jackson) life of crime is that he was going to become a pharmacologist until he was pulled over by the cops while smoking dope in the early '70s. We actually get to witness this scene, as if his "motivation" actually mattered. Thirty years later, he's working for one of those colossal a-holes who always refers to himself in the third person: The Lizard (Meatloaf). Elmo tries to do away with The Lizard so that he can sell the drug without interference. Unfortunately, he blows up everyone but The Lizard.

Elmo flies to England and hooks up with Felix (Robert Carlyle) while The Lizard hires a beautiful assassin, Dakota (Emily Mortimer), to kill Elmo. Though she hits everything she gets in her sights, she never seems to get Elmo. And in one of those amazing instances of coincidence that only seem to happen in bad movies, Dakota is Felix's former girlfriend.

Given the ending of this film, it's entirely possible that the screenwriter completed the last ten pages of this script after smoking 51 hits of crack to try to replicate the power of Elmo's drug. The resulting plot twist is about as emotionally satisfying as watching ants copulate. It's the filmmakers' only notable achievement that they were able to finish off a bad movie with an ending that was somehow even worse.

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