main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Film: Split Second

In the movie Split Second, Harley Stone (played by Rutger Hauer) is a cop who often flouts the rules working in a decaying, flooded London circa 2008 (clearly an alternate timeline), as global warming has caused sea levels to rise.

A supernatural killer that Stone is convinced exists has returned, and it's his mission to find the killer before anyone else dies. Unfortunately, his boss doesn't think he's stable enough to work without an assigned partner, Dick Durkin. Hilarity (and action-adventure) ensues.

This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: The creature uses its huge claw to shred through the roof of a subway train like a hot knife through butter. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • And Show It to You: In the climax, Stone pulls out the monster's heart from its chest and blows it to smithereens with his gun. Interesting that it might not be overkill: the monster doesn't drop until the heart is destroyed.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Harley Stone.
  • Badass Longcoat: Stone never goes anywhere without a leather trenchcoat to emphasize his badassitude as a Cowboy Cop.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: After Stone pulls out the monster's heart, it keeps beating.
  • BFG: Dick Durkin snaps and ends up demanding, literally, Bigger Fucking Guns.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Dick Durkin is much more mindful of proper police procedure and much calmer than Stone due to his past education on killers and psychopaths. Subverted towards the end when he realizes that they're up against a supernatural monstrosity and he becomes just as gun-happy as Stone.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Durkin theorizes that the killer is a demon sent from Hell who eats the hearts of his victims to gain their strength, DNA, and their souls.
  • Connect the Deaths: The monster kills its victims in specific places in order to draw a dot-to-dot version of an astrological symbol on the city map.
  • Cowboy Cop: Stone is a complete rundown of the trope: He's a multiple gun-toting hardass who treats everyone like crap, shoots first and asks questions later, pisses off Da Chief and treats his by-the-book partner like a nuisance and gets the job done with superior firepower.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: (Then-) future London, and so bad that a good chunk of it has long since flooded. You never even see the sun up until the final credits.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: In a flashback it's shown how Stone was fairly well-composed before his partner was killed by the monster he has since been pursuing. Stone blamed himself (especially because he was having an affair with his partner's wife) and became a paranoid, rude gunslinger in response.
  • Da Chief: "The Chief" (named Thrasher according to the credits), who spends most of his time trying to rein the violent and snarky Harley Stone in.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Harley Stone. It helps that Rutger Hauer seems to naturally gravitate to playing characters this way.
    Durkin: Her heart? What for?
    Stone: Maybe he eats them for breakfast.
    • Da Chief is not lacking in responses, either:
    Thrasher (Upon seeing Stone and Durkin getting armed to the teeth and leaving the station): "And what am I supposed to do? Put out an APB to all officers to look for someone who looks like Satan, and answers to the name of Lucifer?"
  • Finger in the Mail: A long-vanished Serial Killer returns and taunts the protagonist by sending him a metal briefcase that turns out to contain the heart of the first new victim packed in ice with a very large bite taken out of it.
  • Gatling Good: The BFGs that Stone and Durkin bring along to the final fight are rotary-cannon "assault shotguns".
  • Gonna Need More X: Dick Durkin demands more guns (specifically, Big Fucking Guns) after seeing the monster for the first time and consequently freaking out.
  • Hand Cannon: Stone's modified sidearm is massive — and that's lampshaded by multiple characters calling it his personal cannon.
  • Jerkass: Stone is a cantankerous prick throughout the movie. He goes out of his way to be a smartass to people, even to the extent of purposely ordering coffee in a bar.
  • More Dakka: Harley's arsenal. In spades. He has, among other weapons: an MP-15, Glock 50, and an A-3 assault shotgun.
    Thrasher: I'm surprised you don't have a grenade launcher.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The nightclub stripper.
  • Plot Hole: It is likely that the identity of the Serial Killer as being a giant Xenomorph-like monster was decided on fairly late in production, because a lot of the movie becomes nonsensical as a result. The alien is a nine feet tall behemoth, yet no one in the night club noticed it walking around, while there's also a Murderer P.O.V. shot shown at human eye level. It has giant claws, yet it can smear big letters on a mirror in blood. It can't talk, but somehow it paid someone to deliver a victim's heart to the police station. And so on.
  • Properly Paranoid: The Chief is initially wary of Stone being a paranoid menace, since he carries around a Hand Cannon and several other guns at all times. The very next scene involves him and the chief discovering that the heart of the killer's latest victim was delivered right to Stone's desk at the precinct.
    Stone: Paranoid, huh?
  • Psychic Powers: Stone has a mysterious psychic connection to the killer; he can predict where he first strikes upon his return and sense his presence by hearing the killer's beating heart. Dick Durkin thinks it's because he's a Scorpio.
  • Serial Killer: Stone is pursuing a serial killer who cuts out his victims' hearts to eat them and has a personal vendetta with Stone. Subverted in that it turns out it is actually a giant monster with unexplained motives for killing people, although presumably intelligent.
  • Skeptic No Longer: Detective Dick Durkin refuses to believe that the Serial Killer he and Harley Stone (his partner) are tracking isn't actually a human being at all, but rather some kind of monster. And then he runs face-to-face with the thing.
    Stone: Did you see him?
    Durkin: That wasn't a him, that was a fucking it!
    • Seeing the monster also leads to Durkin's line (and temporal Madness Mantra), "We need to get bigger guns!", which under the circumstances was a very rational reaction.

SneakersFilms of the 1990sStar Wreck

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy