Monday, May 16, 2016

Movie Monday – Run Lola Run (1998)


Run Lola Run starts with Manni calling his girlfriend Lola from a payphone.  He had done some sort of crime job and had the money, and she was to pick him up so he could give the money to his boss.  But someone stole her moped so she had to get a cab, which got lost and she was late picking him up.  So Manni got on the subway, but got off early when he saw some cops, only he left the bag of money on the train where it was picked up by a homeless guy.  Manni has twenty minutes until he meets his boss, and if he doesn’t have the $100,000 (in the English version) his boss will kill him.  He says that if Lola isn’t there in twenty minutes, he’ll rob the supermarket across the street from the payphone.

Lola decides to run to her father who manages a bank to borrow some money.  Along the way she passes a few people and we get glimpses of their futures.  At one point, she even runs past the homeless guy with the money.  At another point, she causes an accident between her father’s friend and Manni’s boss.  She gets to her father’s office and walks in right after his mistress tells him she’s pregnant.  Her father decides to leave Lola and her mother, and even tells Lola that he isn’t her biological father. 

Lola runs to the supermarket, passing an ambulance at one point, and reaches it just as Manni goes in.  She decides to help him, knocking out a guard and taking his gun.  The two escape with the money, but are soon surrounded by police.  Manni throws the bag of money, which makes one cop flinch and he shoots Lola and she dies in the street.

But then we go back to the original phone call, and Lola starts her second run.  This time she’s delayed a bit and her father’s mistress gets to tell him that he isn’t the father of her baby, which sets him off.  This time he and Lola get into an argument, and as she’s leaving, she grabs the gun of the bank guard and holds her father hostage for the $100,000.  After she gets it, she reaches the supermarket before Manni goes in, but when he walks towards her, he is run over by the ambulance and dies in the street.

We go back to the original phone call, and Lola starts her third run.  This time she stops the accident with her father’s friend and Manni’s boss, which allows the friend to reach her father first and drive off before Lola can see him.  She then decides to run until God gives her an answer, and she ends up at a casino.  She gets a $100 chip and bets it in roulette and wins.  She lets it ride, and wins again, earning over $100,000.  She has the money in a bag and runs towards the street corner.  She jumps in the ambulance, to find out that the bank guard had a heart attack.  She stays with him and he survives.

The homeless guy buys a bike – from one of the people Lola had passed – and Manni sees him riding by and chases him down and gets the money back.  Along the way he causes a crash between Lola’s father and his friend, Manni’s boss, as well as – I didn’t notice this until I read it on Wikipedia – the guy who stole her moped.  Lola’s father, his friend, and the thief all die.  After he has the money, Manni’s boss picks him up and everything is cool with them.  He then meets Lola, and asks what’s in the bag she has.


I had heard about Run Lola Run years ago.  It’s one of those movies that will be referenced or parodied.  And the reason I decided to finally watch it, is that one of the movie reviewers I watch described a movie – I forget which movie he was talking about – as having some Run Lola Run elements.

I thought the movie was okay.  Maybe if I didn’t know that there were different takes on the events I’d have been more surprised, especially when the main character dies about half-an-hour into the movie, but as it is, it’s just okay.

There are a few … odd things about the movie.  When Lola first runs out of her apartment, there’s a scene that’s animated, for some reason.  And then she can scream so loud it breaks glass, for some reason.  And part of the point of the movie is how small changes can have big effects.  But sometimes things just happen differently.  For example, in her first run, Lola bumps into a woman with a pram and we see her future where her child is taken away and she ends up kidnapping another baby.  In her second run, Lola bumps into her – maybe five feet away from the first time – and the woman then wins the lottery.  For some reason.  Some of the changes make sense and are connected, but others just happen.  I guess the script, in my opinion, just needed another draft, to clear up some things and smooth other things over.

I’m glad I finally saw this, if for no other reason than to get any references to it now.  Also, the soundtrack was pretty cool.

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