The 51st State
The 51st State (also known as Formula 51) is a 2001 British-Canadian action comedy film directed by Ronny Yu, written by Stel Pavlou, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, Ricky Tomlinson, Sean Pertwee, Rhys Ifans, Stephen Walters and Meat Loaf. 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.
In 1971, 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. Dakota initially refuses the hit, but accepts when the Lizard offers to clear her gambling debts and give her a $250,000 bonus.