The 51st State

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The 51st State
Großbritannien, Kanada, USA 2001
Regie Ronny Yu

Aus dem offiziellen Programm:
In PULP FICTION war er Kult. In SHAFT grimmig, lässig, black. In 51ST STATE nun steigert er den Coolnessfaktor ins Unermessliche und beweist einmal mehr, dass er ein Genre für sich ist: Sam the man! - McElroy (Jackson) erfindet POS 51, die Designerdroge des Jahrhunderts, und versucht damit in Liverpool den Deal seines Lebens durchzuziehen. Doch gierige Drogenbosse, eine leckere Auftragskillerin, Handlanger dumm wie Brot, wüste Skins, meditierende Waffendealer und die ungewollte Partnerschaft mit einem Yankee-hassenden Kleinkriminellen (THE FULL MONTY Robert Carlyle) sorgen schnell für bleiblutiges Chaos. Grobe Shootouts, nasensplitternde Fights und dreckige Oneliner: Seit langem war uns kein Actioner mehr vergönnt, der so richtig viel Spaß am schlechten Benehmen haben lässt. Ronny Yus Inszenierung macht diesen Film zum Konzentrat aus Opium für die Augen und Speed für die Nerven. Slam, bam - Thank you man!
McElroy (Samuel L. Jackson), a kilt-wearing, golf-obsessed illegal chemist arrives in Liverpool to clinch a $20 million deal with a local drug baron. Teaming up with a loud-mouthed local hood (Robert Carlyle), he must seal the deal before anyone can off him. Rude shootouts, nasty fights, the crudest one-liners in town, and mind-blowing direction by Ronny Yu result in a witty, profane, and hugely violent testosterone-driven thrill ride.

A witty, profane, hugely violent action comedy, "The 51st State" takes a peculiarly American genre, a huge American star, and sticks them in Liverpool with bloody but entertaining results.

The star in question is Samuel L Jackson, who ditches the proper acting of "Unbreakable" to get back to some serious ass whuppin’, à la "Pulp Fiction".
Jackson plays Elmo McElroy, a kilt-wearing, golf-obsessed illegal chemist who arrives in Liverpool to clinch a $20 million drugs deal with local baron Ricky Tomlinson. Unfortunately, his old Stateside boss, the Lizard (Loaf), has sent Emily Mortimer’s skilled assassin after him. Teaming up with Yank-hating small-time hood Felix De Souza (Carlyle), McElroy must seal the deal before anyone can off him, sidestepping local skinheads and Sean Pertwee’s bent copper along the way.

Sound silly? Well, of course it is. But that’s largely its strength - here’s a British flick gleefully unconcerned with plausibility, yet just as determined to entertain you. Writer Stel Pavlou’s Tarantino-esque dialogue is good, but it’s Hong Kong director Ronny Yu who makes it work. Splicing the action together with his trademark zeal, frenetically pounding the story onwards, Yu doesn’t give the audience time to think, let alone pick holes.

“It’s all a little overwhelming in the opening 20 minutes, but once it settles down, "The 51st State" becomes quite irresistible. The culture clash interplay between Jackson and Carlyle is a joy, with Jackson relishing some killer one-liners while strutting round Merseyside in a kilt. Why? Best not to ask. Just enjoy.”


Official Selection 2002



The 51st State
  • 7.4/10 20
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