Looking ready to tee up at St. Andrews at a moment's notice, Samuel L. Jackson strolls through much of Formula 51 in a traditional Scottish kilt, with a golf bag slung around his shoulder. There's no discernible reason for the ensemble, other than the sound theory that having Samuel L. Jackson wear a kilt and never explain it is a really funny idea. If only the rest of the movie were so inspired. Directed by Hong Kong émigré Ronny Yu (The Bride With White Hair), whose style-for-style's-sake philosophy elevated the Child's Play sequel Bride Of Chucky well above the original, Formula 51 could actually stand to be a lot more nonsensical. Instead, the overstuffed plot and gratuitous mayhem are closer to the dubious tradition of flashy British gangster movies inspired by Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, many of which never make it across the Atlantic. Opening with a prologue in the early '70s, mainly for a chance to show Jackson's one-man Cheech & Chong routine, the film explains that a recreational pot bust led master chemist Jackson from a prestigious degree in pharmacology to a reluctant life of crime. Three decades later, his lab work for L.A. drug kingpin Meat Loaf, who refers to himself as "The Lizard," has reached a breakthrough with the development of a super-drug that's precisely 51 times more mind-blowing than any narcotic or hallucinogen ever created. With the new drug ready for market, Jackson double-crosses Loaf and rushes off to Liverpool, where he teams up with scruffy new business partner Robert Carlyle to find a buyer for his magic pills. But Jackson's old boss won't let him go so easily ("His mind belongs to The Lizard!"), dispatching his finest assassin (Lovely And Amazing's Emily Mortimer) to pick them off before they give the formula away. A few more interested parties add to the carnival atmosphere, including a dimwitted gang of skinhead thugs and a flamboyant club owner (Rhys Ifans) who runs guns and Ecstasy on the side. Yu directs with the move-or-die philosophy of a shark: Whenever the action flags between shoot-outs and car chases, his solution is to have all the actors start cursing each other at the top of their lungs. His hunger for distraction leads to a few amusing flourishes, including a brief tour of the circuitry inside a hi-fi car stereo, a Sergio Leone showdown between two compact cars in an alleyway, and a character exploding like a giant watermelon. But too often, Formula 51 fails to differentiate between gleeful excess and white noise.