Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Our first question in regards to this 1992 Rutger Hauer vehicle ‘Split Second’ is what the hell does the title mean?  There is a killer in this movie and it does kill real fast, so does it kill in a split second?  Is that what this means?  I’m trying to think of other things it might represent but there’s no bombs ticking down to triple zero and there’s no fast cars in this movie and there’s no real close shaves which could go either way in a ‘split second’ so I’m baffled.  Or maybe it’s just what the Action Movie Title Generator spit out.  I’m going with that.  Just so you know, thinking long about ‘Split Second’ ruins ‘Split Second’ so don’t this.

Today Rutger is Harley Stone, a hardcore cop in the near future who plays by his own rules.  And Harley rides Harley’s.  This near future is actually four years ago to us in 2012, but in this near future global warming has melted the ice caps and caused rivers to flood and all kinds of stuff.  Now as you watch this movie, which takes place in 2008 future London, did the global warming thing have any relevance with this movie?  Unless splashing in puddles throughout the whole movie was relevant in some way, I’d have to say no.  Apparently this global warming has also extended the nights in the new world which I believe is relevant to A) conceal the monster so it can be all stealthy and B) conceal that this monster probably looks crappy in bright light.

This monster is a serial killer of some kind that murdered Stone’s partner and BFF a few years back which has made him crazier, with his craziness exacerbated by the fact he was poking his partners wife Michelle (Kim Cattral) at the time.  Apparently this thing took some serial killing time off, but due to his psychic link with the killer, Stone knows he’s returned to rip people’s hearts out of their chests in a ‘Split Second’ while emotionally terrorizing Stone while he does this thing.  Stone’s Super Angry Boss (Alun Armstrong)… note if this were shot in America he’d been a Black guy… has given Stone a partner, even though he ‘works alone’ along with not playing by the rules, in the erudite Dick Durken (Alastair Duncan).  Durken has all kinds of valuable intellectual skills, most of which will be of little use until the very end of this movie.  Until then he just gives Stone an excuse to use the word ‘Dick’ over and over again.

Why is this creature ripping out hearts, on top of having very nice penmanship judging by its frequent blood writings on walls?  Hell if I know.  Durken says something about it being Satan, but I’m pretty positive that eventually they’re going to shoot it to kill it and you can’t shoot Satan dead.  At least I don’t think you can.  Just so you know, I have no issue with somebody saying ‘I don’t know what the hell it is’.  I’m good with that.  Regardless, the hunt is on for Stone and Durken who have sworn to kill this thing.  Michelle is back in town from the states so the slutty whore can pay respects to her dead husband, or more accurately get herself kidnapped, but more importantly Durken and Stone have figured it all out.  What did they figure out?  Well, they kind of figured out where the monster lives.  Even though Stone probably should’ve known already since this is where they first met.  Since Stone was too stupid to get that, the Monster kept giving him clues as to where he was.  Not until the monster carved a map on Durken’s chest did the light finally go off on where the monster hides out at.  I think they also figured out why the monster was doing what it was doing, but it was so wacky and nonsensical that I forgot already.  How in the world are our heroes going to stop an invincible beast as old as time itself?  Uh… by shooting at it?  Duh.

So you know, we’ll watch a movie and come to the conclusion that said movie was ‘a mess’.  I think I must withdraw that statement from all those other movies because this one here is arguably the messiest movie I’ve ever seen.  Now some of the reason for this is that ‘Split Second’ did have a bit of a convoluted production resulting in two directors eventually required to bring this thing home, but the fact remains that ‘Split Second’ is a jumbled up, semi-coherent combination of the standard and the wacky that will probably end up entertaining you despite itself. 

Debilitatingly standard stuff?  Hardcore cop, doesn’t play by the rules, works alone, the best at what he does (whatever that is) wears sunglasses at night, chasing a serial killer with whom he has a history, exact opposite partner, damsel in distress, angry captain.  Buddy Cop movie 101 stuff right there.  The wacky?  Global warming as a worthless plot device.  A ten foot monster with razor teeth and twelve inch nails, looking suspiciously like a Ridley Scott Alien, that apparently can walk into nightclubs and police stations with absolutely no one giving him a second look.   A sidekick with no occult experience who can figure out all kinds of occulty stuff simply by by knowing your Zodiac sign.  This sidekick also lets us know he gets laid every night, no doubt due to his ‘what’s your sign’ knowledge.  A movie with tons upon tons of exposition that explains not a damn thing.  There’s so much more, but I do recommend that one experience it for themselves.

You see, ‘Split Second’, once it finds it’s groove… which takes a minute or two… is actually pretty damned entertaining.  Part of it is because it’s so dumb, but part of it is because it does move really fast and because Rutger Hauer is in it doing his Rutger thing amped to the power of ten.  And Kim Cattral has never been the shyest girl in town, and we appreciate her for that.

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