Directed by: #RobbieWalsh
#RobbieWalsh and #DavidAlexanderRoache play two hitmen in S.P.L.I.T, an Irish #mockumentary set over a couple of days during the Autumn of 2013 in Dublin. A camera crew follows these two hitmen round to document their jobs and what they get up to along the way.
The majority of the film takes place while they’re on the road between each job, as the two hitmen, who also happen to be brothers, are discussing different topics while they’re being filmed from the backseat. We are introduced to their different targets, and the many different ways they go about killing these characters off. They both have to decide whether this is something they want to do forever, or whether they want to leave their job behind them.
The shaky camera movements and jolty close up shots are realistic ways in which the filming methods utilized reinforce the believability that this is being filmed as if it were a mockumentary. The filmmaker Robbie Walsh describes the film as being “In the vein of #TheOffice” and the way it is filmed is one way that Walsh appears to have been inspired by the hit comedy.
Their conversations range from drinking, dating and relationships to more thought provoking subjects such as religion and various social issues. A long running joke throughout is whether James Bourne or James Bond would win in a fight, which is one of the more light-hearted ways in which #comedy is used to portray how desensitised these hitmen are to what they are doing as their job. The film does a good job at parodying the genre, especially in scenes when the hit men describe directly to camera how they’re going to kill each of their victims.
The tone of S.P.L.I.T feels muddled throughout. It isn’t particularly funny, yet it is definitely trying to be. Some of the conversations verge on the side of being politically incorrect in a way that is offensive rather than clever or used as an interesting point of discussion. The character’s morals are intriguingly presented as blurred, for example when one of the hit men apologises for not being politically correct during one of these discussions, yet he doesn’t apologise for killing someone brutally only moments earlier. However, the main issue is that the film feels drawn out, as the structure of the narrative means that the plot becomes repetitive rather quickly.
S.P.L.I.T’s mockumentary style filmmaking is effective at capturing and parodying #documentary filming techniques, but the other aspects of the film fall short.
Watch the official movie trailer for S.P.L.I.T below.