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Degrees of separation

Posted at 4:01 PM on December 18, 2006 by Euan Kerr

Why do certain films get made?

Curiosity got the better of me over the weekend and I watched the action thriller "Formula 51" over the weekend. Part of the inspiration was having just seen Robert Carlyle in "Eragon," but the main reason was to see Samuel L. Jackson strut his stuff in a kilt.

The set-up is this: Jackson plays Elmo McElroy, a master chemist who claims to have developed the ultimate recreational drug, which has the added bonus of being made entirely from over-the-counter products. He likes to wear the kilt and carries a set of golf clubs with him.

Due to various reason including explosions and a crazed criminal mastermind called the Lizard (Meat Loaf) McElroy heads to Liverpool in England to sell his formula to the highest bidder. Along the way he meets the usual shower of foul-mouthed gun-toting miscreants, and there's a fair bit of blood-letting. Oh, and Emily Mortimer runs around in a leather catsuit with enough guns to arm a small army.

But back to the kilt. This entire movie hangs on the kilt. In the DVD extras Jackson (who is also the Executive Producer) says he wanted to do the film because he wanted to try the kilt. He wanted to try the kilt because he had just seen Ewan McGregor wearing one while shooting Star Wars.

There is also a scene where Jackson takes on a group of racist skinheads with a driver quickly selected from his golf-bag. That also went back to Star Wars where he became adepts with a light sabre. Golf club, light sabre, same thing really.

If you are into swear and splatter movies "Formula 51" is an easy way to pass 90 minutes or so. It's not for every one. But it's intriguing to think it's pretty much all based on a kilt. And Star Wars.

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