Run Lola Run Review
By Joe Lozito
As the title implies, the heroine of "Run Lola Run" spends much of this film on her feet. In fact, she runs the same path three times with varying degress of success. It seems that, by sheer force of love's will, Lola (Franka Potente) is going to get 100,000 German marks to her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) in 20 minutes if it kills her. And in some cases it does.
"Run Lola Run" blazes little new conceptual ground. The "time loop" plot has been done before, in some cases more successfully, in films like "Groundhog Day" and the TV Shows "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "The X-Files". In one new twist, the audience is treated to three different outcomes, not only of Lola's story, but of the future of all of the bystanders she interacts with. It is the job of the director (Tom Tykwer, who also wrote the script) to somehow make this repitition of action interesting for 80 minutes. Thankfully, Mr. Tykwer is up to the task.
The 34-year-old director pulls out every stop in the Mtv video library. From using different film stock to flashes of still photography to cartoon renderings of Lola herself, Mr. Tykwer keeps the film as vibrant and interesting to behold as Ms. Potente's flame-red hair.
The real trick is getting the audience to care, in the short time allotted, if Lola succeeds or not. This is accomplished thanks mainly to the talented cast that Mr. Tykwer has assembled. Given almost no scenes together, with the exception of two cute vignettes in the bedroom, Ms. Potente and Mr. Bleibtreu manage to exude the kind of rebelious young love that was so startlingly absent from the DiCaprio/Danes scenes in "Romeo and Juliet".
Regardless of whether the success of Lola's quest is contrived, and whether the overly simplistic and condescending opening prologue evokes the consideration it is designed to, "Run Lola Run" is a fine diversion. Mr. Tykwer is a director to be watched and so is his film.