Split Second Review

Review by Ryan

I remember that my father took me to see the rather ridiculous British sci-fi-action-horror hybrid Split Second when it was released theatrically in the spring of 1992; but, given that this was also the year of much higher-profile productions like Alien 3, Batman Returns, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the modestly budgeted Split Second seems to have fallen through the cracks of my moviegoing memories and failed to leave much of a lasting impression. When it was recently re-released on DVD, I decided to give it another look and was not inordinately appalled. Set in futuristic 2008, when the effects of global warming have left rat-infested London up to its ankles in garbagey water, the tongue-in-cheek plot follows slightly unhinged police detective Harley Stone (Rutger Hauer), who “lives on anxiety, coffee, and chocolate” and thinks nothing of interrogating a dog as he hunts the savage astrology freak who butchered his previous partner. The killer, as it turns out, is not even human, instead hosting “multiple DNA structures” – some of which appear to derive from a certain Ridley Scott movie – and it grows more powerful every time it extracts a naked woman’s heart. Neil Duncan, as Stone’s wimpy and bookish new partner, furnishes a decent foil for Hauer’s hardboiled loose cannon routine, and Big Trouble in Little China’s Kim Cattrall is serviceable as the showering damsel in distress. The fun performances and grimily detailed set design and dressing help to compensate for this production’s limitations, so open-minded fans of gross or silly sci-fi-flavored law enforcement actioners like Trancers, The Hidden, or Dead Heat might want to give this soggy, forgotten video relic a chance.  

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