The film follows the story of an American master chemist Jackson who heads to Britain to sell his formula for a powerful new drug. All does not go as planned and the chemist soon becomes entangled in a web of deceit. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on 7 December In , a policeman catches Elmo McElroy, a recent college graduate with a degree , smoking marijuana. Due to his arrest and conviction, he is unable to find work as a pharmacologist. In the present day, a drug lord called "the Lizard" calls a meeting of his colleagues, hoping to sell a new substance invented by Elmo.
The meeting goes badly when Elmo, in a bid to escape from the Lizard's control, blows up the building, killing everyone but the Lizard. Infuriated, the Lizard contacts Dakota, a contract killer, who previously killed the only witness in a case against the Lizard. Elmo escapes to Liverpool , England , where he meets Felix DeSouza, a local "fixer" who has been sent by Leopold Durant, head of a local criminal organisation, in exchange for two tickets to a sold-out football match.
At the meeting, Elmo pitches POS 51, a synthetic drug that can be produced with minimal facilities and is 51 times as potent as other drugs.
A second opinion from Pudsey, Durant's chemist , confirms Elmo's claims, and Durant gives him over a million dollars in bonds. In a room across the street, Dakota is about to take a shot at Elmo's head when the Lizard calls cancelling the hit; not wanting to kill Elmo until he has the formula. Instead of killing Elmo, she is to kill anyone who meets with him.
She switches rifles to an automatic weapon and kills everyone but Elmo and Felix, who is shot in the buttocks. As Elmo and Felix leave the hotel, a gang of skinheads who want the drug surround them. Elmo protects them with a golf club.
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Detective Virgil Kane and his partner Arthur arrive on the scene and give chase. They are soon lured into a game of chicken by Elmo, who escapes.
A miscommunication leads to Durant's death. As Elmo and Felix acquire the ingredients necessary for the drug's manufacture, all of which are over-the-counter products , the now-armed skinheads capture them. Elmo is unfazed, as the skinheads claim they have a lab, though it turns out to be a broken-into animal testing facility.
Elmo makes two batches of the drug; one blue and one red. He claims that the red pill is the stronger version, and after he takes one, the skinheads try it. While they are partying, waiting for the effect of the drug, in the next room Elmo spits out his red pill. He tells Felix it is a powerful laxative ; Elmo and Felix leave after throwing rolls of toilet paper to the incapacitated skinheads.
At Iki's rave club, Elmo initiates his deal and delivers the drug to the waiting crowd. Kane and the police interrupt the deal and arrest Felix. When Dakota appears, she reveals that her real name is Dawn and that she and Felix were romantically involved. She captures Elmo and leaves with him via the roof. Elmo overpowers her, suspending her over the edge of the roof. Having no choice, she strikes a deal with him and they evade Kane.
Meanwhile, Kane blackmails Felix during a police interrogation and forces himself into the deal with Iki, which Felix sets up for him. Felix also enters a pub full of Manchester United supporters and goads them before letting off a rocket flare inside; the United fans give chase but his friends rescue him in their car.
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Felix, Elmo and Dawn meet Iki in a private viewing box at the football match in Anfield. This time, the deal is interrupted by the Lizard, who shoots Iki dead and demands the formula to POS Kane interrupts them as Elmo's cocktail, an explosive ingested by the Lizard, takes effect, killing the Lizard and showering everyone in blood.
Kane is knocked unconscious and arrested by Arthur, while the main three exit unscathed. Dawn and Felix give their relationship another chance, and Elmo purchases a castle once owned by the man who owned his ancestors. Jackson became a star. Screenwriter Stel Pavlou came up with the idea for The 51st State in while studying at university in Liverpool , loosely basing some of the characters on his friends. Pavlou described the idea of the film being based on Liverpool's history in the slave trade and transferring it to modern day in the form of the drug trade.
Pavlou and his business partner Mark Aldridge showcased their idea at the Cannes Film Festival in France which led to film development company Focus Films offering funding for development. Soon the film caught the eye of Samuel L. Rohan Silva. Laura Weir. Tottenham Hotspur. Crystal Palace. West Ham. Transfer News. Premier League. Champions League. Rugby Union. Horse Racing. A List. ES Magazine. Staying In.
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