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Split Second

Split Second (1992) Movie Poster
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  •  UK / USA  •    •  90m  •    •  Directed by: Tony Maylam.  •  Starring: Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair Duncan, Michael J. Pollard, Alun Armstrong, Pete Postlethwaite, Ian Dury, Roberta Eaton, Tony Steedman, Steven Hartley, Sara Stockbridge, Colin Skeaping, Ken Bones.  •  Music by: Francis Haines, Stephen W. Parsons.
        In 2008, London is suffering from the worst flooding in a decade. As the water levels rise, Harley Stone is a neurotic veteran cop who seeks revenge on the creature that killed is partner. As a new rookie is assigned to him, Stone must find the killer, rescue his girlfriend and fight off his own inner demons as he gets closer and closer to his mysterious enemy.


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Image from: Split Second (1992)
Image from: Split Second (1992)
Image from: Split Second (1992)
Image from: Split Second (1992)
Image from: Split Second (1992)
Image from: Split Second (1992)
Image from: Split Second (1992)
Image from: Split Second (1992)
Image from: Split Second (1992)
When seeing the opening credits for this film, I actually thought it was going to be a brilliant, low budget gem, and in a way. It was... The opening scenes depict what the effects of Global Warming is doing to the River Based City of London in 2007. (Although this could've been worked on a bit more.) After the rolling text telling of the unbelievable levels of Pollution surrounding the City, you get a helicopter view of a Police Hovercraft racing down the Thames past the famous Flood Barriers obviously not doing their job properly. All of this rounded off with some serious but sinister sounding Music in the background.

The cast is mostly of a British background. All aside from Catrall (Michelle), Pollard (Rat Catcher) and of course Hauer (Stone). With acting legends such as Pete Postlethwaite as Stone's nemesis, Alun Armstrong as 'Thrasher'. (again this could've been dropped for something more British sounding!) And the late, great and talented cockney singer Ian Dury as a Night Club Owner to whom the first murder we see from the 'Monster' takes place.

As mentioned earlier, the beginning scenes are brilliant, and present a really gritty register to the viewer, that only a low budget film can do. However the opening scenes with Stone walking down a darkened steamy corridor, adjusting himself, with a Shotgun slung over his shoulder, could've been dropped, as it was quite unnecessary. He walks out and we get an impression of what a future slummy inner city London might just look like. With normal Patrol Cars replaced with Military Grade All Terrain Vehicles and Meshed up 4x4's. (However, the choice of a Jeep Wrangler as Hauers car can be of questionable taste.) We leave the flooded compound with a Radio message blazing over for Stone's arrest, and we follow him driving though a relatively water free Westminster, with the Camera focusing stammeringly on famous landmarks like Trafalger Square and Tower Bridge. The clean environment of these shots however, make Hauers vehicle stick out like a sore thumb in some respects, especially when seeing the regular Cars being driven by London's citizens through the meshed windscreen. (Clear evidence of the budgetary constraints involved with this film.) We move on to show a brutal Murder of a prostitute in a stingy Nighclub Toilet. To which we see Stone go into a skitsophrenic fit of rage and paranoia after seeing the blood stained body, recklessly pointing his weapon at the crowd gathered outside, asking "Was it you, Huh? How about you then Dickhead!?" The film then carrys on, showing the hustle and bustle of the futuristic London Police Station, with cheesy electro music in the background as we follow behind Stone. We enter the offices, and the Weapons orderly at the gate is predictably smitten by Hauers Character, fondling his Hand Gun saying; "Oh, its good to have you back...", etc, etc. By now, you are probably getting a whiff of Americanisation all over this film. Hauer's Wrangler, the set up of the Police Station with the Music. The fact that the Police is no longer called the 'Metropolitan' Poilce, but the "London Central Police", and that the tin pot helmet synonymous with the British Bobby is scrapped for Baseball Caps and Leather Jackets. They look more like LAPD than LMP to be honest...

The we have the supposedly 'Big Budget' Characters like Catrall and Pollard. However, Pollard's involvement in the film is over emphasised in the opening credits. With his name nestled in third on the list of those flashing up in big red writing. In reality, his part is tiny, only amounting to a few lines and one scene, toward the end of the film. Catrall comes across as slightly underwhelmed by her character and has obviously seen better days. Durkins Character is the exact opposite of Stone, though toward the end he becomes just like him. I.E. An unconvincingly over excited Looney, screaming "We need bigger king guns!" at every viable opportunity.

Then we come to the finale. Which serves as the perfect anti climax to ruin what was a potentially brilliant film. The so called "Monster" is described as "The Devil Himself," toward the last scenes, which is just stupid really, as the Monster is effortlessly killed by Hauer punching through his rib cage and pulling his heart out. You would think old Lucifer would put up a bigger fight than that eh? The acting, also goes down a steep gradient of quality as well. With Durkin chucking a Phosphorous Grenade into the carriage, followed by Stone jumping through the window and subsequently snogging Michelle whilst the explosion is decimating the carriage, for absolutely no reason at all. Its just the complete contracts of the attitudes of the Characters in this scene which ruins it all. I wouldn't be too surprised if Catrall's Character were to burst into a fit of giggles halfway through as she seems that overexcited. Durkin also uses this opportunity to introduce himself to her while Stone is trying to kill the bugger, which is weird to say the least. You wouldn't believe that they were trying to fight Old Nick himself at all. Must've been a Friday when they shot it all...

The Special effects are also cheap and underwhelming. Whenever a weapon is fired, for example, the camera fuzzes up so we don't really know what is going on, and overall it ends too easily and too quickly. It all amounts to a bit of a farsity really. You wouldn't think Hauer would be going up the 'Devil' shouting "Relax Pal!" as it lies stunned on the floor would you? But thats what you get. Which is a shame really, as everything was well done up until that point.

Overall 6 out of 10. Prepared to take this film with a pinch of Salt and put your brain in the Fridge.

Review by liamolf from the Internet Movie Database.


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Apr 30 2017, 13:48
Apr 30 2017, 13:46
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