In a flooded future London, Detective Harley Stone hunts a serial killer who murdered his partner, and has haunted him ever since. He soon discovers what he is hunting might not be human.In a flooded future London, Detective Harley Stone hunts a serial killer who murdered his partner, and has haunted him ever since. He soon discovers what he is hunting might not be human.In a flooded future London, Detective Harley Stone hunts a serial killer who murdered his partner, and has haunted him ever since. He soon discovers what he is hunting might not be human.
But still you can't ignore the fact that this film runs on the smell of an oily rag, it's evident from the first frame all the way to the reveal of the shonky 'beast' near the end, a creature that elicits more chuckles than screams.
In 2008 the global pollution problems created rising water levels, which left London largely underwater, stricken with a huge ongoing vermin problem, and created an almost endless night.
Or perhaps you missed it (I love it when the 'movie future' becomes the past.) Rutger Hauer plays Stone, a hard nosed, grizzled veteran who works alone and ignores everything in the rule book. He is a hard drinkin' loose cannon who does things his way, and has done ever since his partner and best friend was killed by a notorious and as yet on the loose serial killer.
Well imagine our surprise when said killer reappears on the scene, literally ripping hearts from bodies and taking bites from his victims. Reluctantly allowed on the case only due to his previous experience with the killer, Stone is aghast (p*ssed might be more accurate but is a worse scrabble term) when he is saddled with a younger partner named Durkin who is everything he is not: a straight-laced, clean living logical thinker who not only follows the book but practically lives by it.
As the gnawed on bodies of the innocent pile up and Stone and Durkin nearly cross paths with the unseen killer many times it grows more evident that this case is perhaps more personal for both Stone and the pursued, with the lines between hunter and hunted becoming increasingly blurred. The last straw comes when a human heart is express posted to Stone – with a large bite already taken from it.
This is a fairly standard set up for many sci-fi flavoured films, the thing that differentiates Split Second is the humour. While hardly Beverly Hills Cop or Red Heat this film is laced with lashings of black humour of the driest kind, much of it from Durkin, who it would be fair to say is hardly the comedic type but still manages many of the best lines, his rant about finding 'big f*cking guns' after first contact with their prey still elicits a chuckle and his progressive hardening up as the film progresses is quite humorous.
The rest of the film is to be frank amateurish, when revealed the killer and most of his previous actions make no sense whatsoever. How a 10 foot tall long fanged alien/monster can lurk in nightclub corners unseen, manage to package and address a human heart to the right recipient and also write notes for his pursuers is beyond me.
Equally confusing is the presence of Kim Cattrall as a sex-object. As someone who has had the misfortune of seeing 12 minutes of Sex and the City any possibility of attraction is long since dead, despite the fact that when this was made she is in her so-called 'prime'. But here she is the dead partner's ex-wife, who is there to be occasionally nude and vulnerable There is some mystical supernatural crap designed to justify – or distract us from – the situation, but misguided symbolism or not Split Second is less about the logic and more about the fun in watching Rutger Hauer play a bitter and violent cop as he chases some sort of monster.
Obviously cheap and filled with blood and a few laughs, Split Second provides a stronger budget : entertainment ratio than a thousand Transformers or Harry Potters ever could. It still isn't amazing but you could do a lot worse.
Final Rating – 6 / 10. Split Second might not even be around any more – I bought it many years ago on VHS and dragged that out the other night – but if you even pretend that you are a Rutger Hauer devotee you owe it to yourself to check it out.
- Dec 28, 2011