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Monday, March 23, 2020

Split Second (1992)




I’m a big Rutger Hauer fan but somehow totally missed catching this one when it came out. In fact, I just recently watched it for the first time more than twenty-five years after it was released. Was it worth the wait? Read on and find out.

Hauer plays detective Stone, a cop who is on a mission. His partner was killed by a mysterious serial killer years earlier and he is determined to find the killer and make them pay. Early on we also get to see that Stone has a strange connection to the killer and knows when he is around. After some shenanigans at a club where the latest victim is found slaughtered in the ladies room, he is partnered up with a young straight-laced detective Dick Durkin. So, we are all ready for a buddy cop movie… except that isn’t what we get at all!

The movie is set in the distant future of 2008 where global warming has caused the oceans to rise and London, where the movie is set, to be partially flooded by the Thames river. This is important because we eventually find out that the killer isn’t a person at all but some sort of mutated rat sewer monster that because it had attacked Stone years before now carries part of his DNA with it. This is why there is a psychic connection between the two. Stone and Durkin, along with his long dead partner’s wife (played by Kim Cattrall), end up venturing into the flooded sewers to do battle with the monster.

Again, how did I miss this movie? The dialogue is snappy and gives Hauer the chance to chew the scenery and generally be awesome. This is him at his best and if you are a fan of the man, then you will love Split Second. His character of Stone is tortured by guilt, while also being self-destructive, super violent, sarcastic, and generally a pain in the ass. This is a perfect role for him because no one else played this better in the eighties and nineties. The rest of the cast is solid with the aforementioned Cattrall as well as some other familiar faces showing up along the way.

Hauer was the man!
The movie is paced perfectly and gets right to the action without ever stopping for too long. Split Second is an action movie in every sense. Shots are fired, people are killed, things blow up and very large guns checked out of the armory. That last one is a reference to a line of dialogue from Durkin after he finally sees the creature and realizes that most bullets bounce right off it. Speaking of the creature it doesn’t get much screen time which was a bummer. When you do finally see the monster, it looks decent. I mean honestly it is clearly an Aliens rip off but is executed nicely so I give them credit for that if not originality. The movie uses a lot of fast cuts and shadows to keep us from seeing too much which is fine until the big fight at the end. By then I wanted to see it and Hauer do battle. Because of the editing I was a bit disappointed with the finale.

Overall Split Second is an excellent movie that again proves there were good genre flicks coming out in the nineties I just wasn’t paying attention! It has become pretty easy to find and I recommend that you either stream or add it to your collection. You won’t be disappointed.


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

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