Run Lola Run begins with stunning visuals and a voice-over talking about humans and the ultimate questions- where do we come from, and what do we believe in. We are reminded that the reality of life is that we continue to ask one question after the next. The opening credits sequence includes a full introduction of all the characters who will appear in the film. We first meet Lola (Franka Potente) in her home, and she receives a phone call from her boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu). Sadly, for Manni and Lola, it’s not good news. Manni is upset, claiming he’s messed up badly. He reveals to Lola that a crime job, which required him to smuggle loot, has gone wrong. By complete mistake and error, Manni left a bag filled with $100,000 Deutsche marks on a subway train. Manni calls Lola on a pay phone, seeking desperate help before a man named Ronnie (Heino Ferch) discovers the missing money and kills Manni instantly.
Lola has just twenty minutes to somehow come up with the cash Manni lost before he robs a local supermarket to repay his debt to Ronnie. Lola pleads with him not to go ahead with the robbery. She claims she will devise a plan to rescue him and come up with the cash. Now, Lola will run through the city streets, going to multiple destinations and speaking to those she feels can help her. The question is, can she successfully save Manni before he commits a horrible crime that he will regret forever?
Run Lola Run is a mystery thriller with some action moments. Audiences are instantly thrown into the plot and the fast-paced storyline. It’s a basic outline with high stakes if Lola fails. We know nothing about Lola and Manni apart from it is evident they are lovers. Still, once you witness the tragic situation, you can’t help but be supportive of the leads.
When it comes to creativity, there is so much to unpack here, and there’s so much that I admire and adore. Firstly, while Lola is running, we are greeted by various fast-paced, techno musical numbers. These keep the pace fast and exciting. While running, Lola has many strange moments, bumping into and interacting with many people while on her quest. When she interacts with people and responds to them, viewers are given a glimpse of what happens to the person after interacting with Lola. Some of these outcomes are surprising, shocking, or perhaps funny. It’s an excellent concept to see, and it’s impossible not to consider the outcome for the strangers if Lola had run a different path or interacted with someone different. The film is loaded with many moments which are unpredictable and surprising right from the word go.
The pacing is excellent. It’s fast and always moving forward with something happening before pausing for a small slow point during the third act. The film ends on a high note. Performances are also outstanding, especially from Franka Potente. I always loved the costume designs and use of colours, including black and white imagery whenever a back story is told. Sound effects are mixed with perfection, and it’s impossible not to smile when certain elements are heard throughout.
Overall, this film opens with a bang, instantly pulling viewers in for a fun ride with many unpredictable moments. It’s jam-packed with fantastic creativity, including a wonderful way of telling the story quickly and smoothly. Colours are used excellently here, but most importantly, the soundtrack is a major highlight, as are the effective and fun sound effects. With only the third act slowing down slightly before the conclusion, Run Lola Run is a cinematic ride that always amazes me, even on repeat viewings.