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THE 51ST STATE   Print  E-mail 
Written by Graham Reed  
Monday, 05 July 2004
Guns. Cars. Kilts. Attitude....

When chemist Samuel L. Jackson is pulled over by a traffic cop on the day of his graduation from university, armed only with a tape of Hendrix, a bag of weed and a peace symbol, the subsequent arrest means he can never work as a legitimate chemist again.  Bummer.

30 years later, he's the resident pharmacist for LA drug baron The Lizard (a wildy overacting Meatloaf), and with no way out, he plots his escape.

 It involves a lot of explosives, a one way plane ticket to England, and Robert Carlyle as local Liverpool gangland enforcer in charge of the deal. Quicker than you can `Doublecross' there's dead bodies everywhere, a pricetag in the millions on Samuel Jackson's head, and  someone's been watching "Lock, Stock" and "Snatch" too much.

Directed by acclaimed director Ronny Yu in his first feature outside Hong Kong, ("Bride of Chucky" excepted) this is a deft, ntertaining, and slickly plotted crime thriller in the vein of Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, transplanted to the north- west with a lot of style, panache and dark humour. Add to that drug culture, Rhys Ifans, slick direction and an somewhat absurd ending. And the fact that there only seems to be one (ONE) puddle in the entire of Liverpool, judging by the same repetitive shot of the car driving through this puddle over and over again....

Highly entertaining, slick, funny, Its's an underworld thriller far far superior to most. The DVD includes a commentary from the writer and some extra features, but it's the film you'll be watching, rather than the making of's with this little gem.

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