Forgotten Action Cinema: Split Second

On the surface, director Tony Maylam’s seriously misunderstood 1992 sci-fi actioner “Split Second” appears to be an impossibly uninspired “Alien” knock-off that borrows heavily from Stephen Hopkins’ silly sequel to John McTiernan’s immortal classic “Predator”. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll discover one surprisingly rewarding monster flick that never once takes itself too seriously, choosing instead to power its familiar premise with a bevy of dry humor and sly sight gags. Cult favorite Rutger Hauer spreads his patented brand of cinematic cheese around with an unprecedented thickness; there’s nary a moment when he’s not smoking cigars, drinking coffee, running stylishly through large puddles of water, or doing something to distract you from the fact that you’ve seen this type of picture a thousand times before. Sadly, “Split Second” fizzles out during what should have been a deeply satisfying climatic showdown between our hero and the film’s uber-mysterious creature, fumbling the required resolution in order to hint at a sequel that will never come. Regardless, this is still an enjoyable production from start to finish, even if you spend the majority of those 90 minutes picking through the plotline with a fine-tooth comb. Just ignore “Sex and the City” weirdo Kim Cattrall’s utter worthlessness and all will be hunky dory.