A whirling dervish, a kinetic thunderstorm of a film, Run Lola Run is Tom Tykwer’s unbelievable frenzy of a movie that exploded onto the world scene back in the late 90s. Even in my limited-exposure youth, I’d heard of this film, that’s how big it had gotten, and for good reason; Tykwer’s film is a fast-paced adrenaline rush the likes of which you likely have never seen before. Whether I liked it or not, I had to admit; Tykwer has crafted a film experience unlike any other I’ve ever had.
The literal translation of the title is “Lola Runs”, and boy, does she run. A lot. Lola’s boyfriend Manni is in trouble; he’s lost 100,000 marks he was entrusted with by a crime boss, and if Lola doesn’t come up with the money in 20 minutes, he will likely be killed. So Lola runs, and runs an awful lot, across the city to try and find a way to get the cash. Here’s the hook: the story of what Lola does is told three separate times, the first two times ending badly and forcing Lola to rewind the film and try again, almost like a video game. The film uses every available means of presentation and style to tell the story, and crams as many of them together as it possibly can. Animation, live-action, black-and-white photography, color photography, freeze frames, flash-forwards, different formats, and all with probably the most mobile and frantic camerawork I have ever seen in a film. And it’s not just the cinematography and presentation; the music plays an absolutely huge role in getting us involved in the film, and as a techno fan myself I freaking loved every second of it.
Part of the fun is noticing the little changes that happen during each of the runs, the ways that every little difference in how Lola interacts with the various people she bumps into affects them. Of course, the film is still plenty fun aside from this; it’s just so charged and action-packed, and the ever-present soundtrack makes it even better. Seriously, there is pretty much no reason to not be entertained by this film, even if you’re a subtitle snob; it’s just so eclectic and hyperdriven that you can’t help but have your blood start pumping. I’m certainly glad to have seen this, and it is definitely an experience to be had before you die; there’s nothing quite like it.
Arbitrary Rating: 9/10