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Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) is in trouble after losing the DM 100,000 he's meant to deliver to his gangster boss. He has twenty minutes to recover the money or face certain death; he phones and tells his girlfriend, Lola (Franka Potente), who resolves to somehow raise the money to stop Manni from robbing a supermarket in desperation. Lola hurtles through the city, her attempt to save Manni becoming the sum total of fractional differences in choice, luck and timing - a scenario which is played out three times with different results on each occasion.

"Take a deep breath and hold it for 81 minutes. You are about to be dazzled by Tom Tykwer's inventive, exhilarating and pulsating Run Lola Run, an original work that is as fresh as diving into a tropical waterfall with enough energy to make glass shatter. It's as vibrant, unexpected and as unpredictable as life itself: a rollercoaster on a time fuse that combines imaginative cinematic techniques with playful creativity. It's a cartoon-style tale that explores chance, coincidence and circumstance at a frenetic pace that's way over the speed limit, leaving you reeling with delight. Twyker's concept, brilliant execution and thrilling soundtrack is surely one of the most electrifying movie experiences of the year.
Louise Keller

"Wow. How often does a feeling of exhilaration grab you in the first minute of a film and stay with you until the last? That's the effect of this stunner by director Tom Tykwer who gives new meaning to the term kinetic cinema. That he does it by playing out the possibilities of a twenty minute scenario three times is even more impressive because he's taken the traditional device of compressing days, weeks and even years into 90 minutes and turned it on its head. It's an almost interactive experience as we're invited to study the minute details of Lola's sprint to Manni's phone box and predict what might happen with the slightest differences in timing next time around and there's much more to be intrigued by than simply whether or not she'll make the rendezvous. Lola's life and the destinies of everyone she encounters can be dramatically affected by the smallest margins. Some of the many sideline pleasures in this mad dash, are rapid-fire snapshots of what becomes of the bit players Lola passes on the way. An enormous amount of information is crammed into 81 pulse-pounding minutes, all of it driven along by a thumping electronic soundtrack (Tykwer was one of the composers and Potente supplies vocals on several tracks), made even more dazzling by the insertion of animation, black and white sequences and footage shot on video. In lesser hands this might have been just an extended rock clip but Tykwer's meticulous planning pays off brilliantly, leaving us with plenty to think about after the chase is over."
Richard Kuipers

"The perfect modern throwaway movie. The characters are like instant pulped versions of several decades of poses and quotes: the cute lowlife chick with punk red hair could have come out of an early Luc Besson film (e.g. Subway). The hyped-up style is closer to British cinema post–Trainspotting: all fast action, kooky angles and throbbing beats, wrapped up in a playfully fractured narrative. Clearly there’s a common source of inspiration in TV commercials, with their shorthand use of predigested, immediately legible images. More figuratively, the film resembles a computer game, locked into a matrix of possible options within a limited chunk of space and time (an approach shared by recent formal spectaculars as diverse as Jafar Panahi’s The White Balloon and Brian de Palma’s Snake Eyes). Director Tom Tykwer gets points for sustaining the energy level almost throughout, tossing in everything from animation to shot-on-video psychodrama. But if the film is more than a slick stunt it’s less via the shreds of ‘realism’ in the mix than the way the whole thing suggests itself as a romantic metaphor for modern life – contingent, superficial yet weighty, based in the banal everyday while driven by kinetic pop emotion. Many films have done great things with similar themes, which is perhaps why this one doesn’t finally have a lot of resonance: storyboarded and streamlined to the ultimate degree, it flashes past you in a moment and disappears without a trace. Even so, it’s too much fun to miss."
Jake Wilson

"I've just been digging around my cliche bag, and I've come up with the best one for Run Lola Run: a tour de force. There, it's that good. Well, brilliant. This is the most original-looking film I have ever seen while at the same time being so German. It's hard to know where to start when you see a film you can't really fault. Visually intriguing, Run Lola Run tries hard to break a few conventions. I'm stealing a friend's description here, but it's a fantastic one: Sliding Doors on acid. The film begins with a Wim Wenders feel: a dark, well-populated space with a voice over, much like the beginning of nearly all his films. There are a few alternate realities, versions of what could happen on a particular day in the life of Lola and Manni; it's an enthralling spectacle as things change. Some of my favourite aspects are the bit-players, those who Lola passes during her run to save Manni from committing a crime. As Lola runs into the distance, we see the rest of the life of the person she has just passed, in a series of Polaroids flashing before us. A brilliant, inspired touch, at times hilarious and other times poignant. The whole film turns and twists like no other, but at no time is it in danger of losing the audience. No other film has ever been like this and the frantic direction is worth every award it gets. Every American action film ever made is put to shame. The only piece of advice I have is: see it. That is all. You'll thank me when you do."
Peter Anderson

"Everything you've read so far is true: Run Lola, Run is edgy and gripping, funny and tense, a thriller and a comedy rolled into one, tight movie. Tykwer sidesteps every trap and avoids the predictable in this triumph of invention. The film also showcases how to use the many new tools of cinema with creative flair. Subtitles, yes. Will you notice? Hardly."
Andrew L. Urban

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CAST: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri, Armin Rohde, Joachim Krol, Ludger Pistor

DIRECTOR: Tom Tykwer

PRODUCER: Stefan Arndt

SCRIPT: Tom Tykwer


EDITOR: Mathilde Bonnefoy

MUSIC: Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Franka Potente, Tom Tykwe

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Alexander Manasse

RUNNING TIME: 81 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 21, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: May 17, 2000


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