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Run Lola Run (1999)

There is a certain vibe some movies resonate while watching. With some it’s the mood of pure nausea, some the feel of being derivative and meandering, but there are those few that seem to leap from the screen, slap you in the face, and scream cool. It happened with Pulp Fiction, it was there with Trainspotting and The Matrix, and you better believe every precious frame of Run Lola Run drips with a feeling of absolute cool.

Since the movie is foreign, German, and subtitled, I’m sure most out there don’t know about it. It’s the tale of Lola’s desperate quest to save her boyfriend Manni. See Manni runs money for a very shady character and has accidentally lost a bag of money earlier. Lola has twenty minutes to retrieve 100,000 Deutschmarks somehow or else he will in an act of desperation rob a corner grocery store which inevitably means his doom. So Lola dashes out the door and she runs. And does she ever!

Born in an age of avant garde MTV videos and a declining attention span nationwide, Lola is a dizzyingly kinetic concoction of energy ]and excitement.The movie is a colorful fireworks display of multiple outcomes and the varying degree minute choices and details can have on our lives. The movie is a living video game telling Lola’s trek three different ways and showing the possibilities of chance and fate.

With each run the audience’s heart beats to the thumping presence of the blistering electronica soundtrack pulsing along Lola’ runs. It simulates her racing heart and that of the audience watching. Within an hour of seeing the flick I had to run out and get the soundtrack, and after a brief listen it made me want to run myself.

The movie has more energy than the Energizer bunny, and our carrot-topped heroine could run circles around his fluffy ass. The narrative structure poses the question to audiences how our lives could be different with any of the small choices that occur day-to-day in our lives. The idea was seen in last year’s Sliding Doors but is much better played out here. All I can say is that Run Lola Run will go down as one of the coolest movies of the millennium and ushers in a new time and genre for the world of cinema. I want my Lola running shoes.

Author’s note: I was so enamored with this film I went as Lola for two Halloweens in a row.

Nate’s Grade: A

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