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Run Lola Run (Lola rennt) (1998)

  Directed by: Tom Tykwer
Written by: Tom Tykwer
Starring: Moritz Bleibtreu, Franka Potente
Music by: Tom Tykwer
Links: Run Lola Run on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Run Lola Run (Lola rennt) (1998) is also mentioned in mino's review of Amélie (2001), pearly's review of Amélie (2001), pearly's review of Good Bye Lenin! (2003), pearly's review of Hero (2002), pearly's review of The Bourne Identity (2002) and oblie's review of The Bourne Identity (2002).

"Runs like a woman and talks like a (Ger)man…" - a review by mino

When Lola (Franka Potente) gets a call from her troubled boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), telling her that he owes a gangster some serious money and is about to get his legs broken — or worse — Lola springs into action. She has no idea how she's going to get the money, but damned if she isn't going to do it, particularly when Manni lets on that if Lola can't make it in twenty minutes, he's going to rob the nearby supermarket.

Run Lola Run is a very simple movie, with a very simple premise, but that doesn't stop it from being a rollicking good watch — particularly given the simple but engaging ‘twist’ that writer/director Tom Tykwer gives the story. It's told three times, each time with different results. The three stories aren't identical: each time, some slight differences kick in: Lola might trip down the stairs, or be delayed very slightly in traffic. Some of these changes are only incidental in effect; some of them send the whole storyline spiralling off in a different direction.

This might sound terribly gimmicky, and it is: but even the most gimmicky device can, if executed well, make for a bloody entertaining movie. While Run Lola Run is a bit of a one-trick pony, that trick is so astoundingly well-executed you just don't care. Half of the fun is trying to work out what's different during each run-through, and how it affects the plot (which sometimes isn't obvious until much later). Even more surprising, the ‘rewatch’ value of Run Lola Run is very high — you'd think that repeated viewing would wear out the gimmick, but it doesn't. It's so well-constructed that you just don't care that you know what's going to happen.

In fact, it's a testament to Tykwer's skill (and, equally importantly, that of Potente) that the ‘multiple replays’ isn't the only gimmicky thing in the movie that manages to succeed where it could easily annoy. The movie is packed with bits and pieces that make it look like it's been made by someone fresh out of film school, determined to pack all their ideas into one movie: animated interludes, spiralling overhead camera shots, mini ‘snapshot’ vignettes, and a bunch of other camera tricks and potentially try-hard cinematic devices. Despite it all, though, it's hard not to like, and what could come off as amateurish blowhardiness instead comes through as a kind of youthful exuberance, if you like. This movie is fun, dammit, and you can't ask for much more than that.

Run Lola Run is a genuinely exciting, clever-without-being-cleverdick, fast-paced romp of a film which manages to simultaneously provide action, excitement, drama, tension, and comedy, while simultaneously ticking a few of the old ganglia. It's well-acted, well-written, and set to a kick-arse soundtrack (largely by Tykwer himself). Two thumbs up.

mino gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 15 Apr 2004

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. gay

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from treta on Wed 22 Mar 2006 04:04 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 1.00 (1 rating)

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