More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 36.76%
Average: 6.86%
Pretty Bad: 0.49%
Total Crap: 0%

13 reviews, 126 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Deathstalker II by Jack Sommersby

Ambition by Jack Sommersby

Blackout by Jack Sommersby

Backfire by Jack Sommersby

Hit List, The (1993) by Jack Sommersby

Banker, The by Jack Sommersby

Boogey Man/The Devonsville Terror, The by Jack Sommersby

Truck Stop Women/Stunts by Jack Sommersby

Competition, The by Jack Sommersby

Hollywood Harry by Jack Sommersby

subscribe to this feed

Run Lola Run
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Chris Parry

"Holy cheese, it's the Citizen Kane of music videos!"
4 stars

Thinking of taking up filmmaking? This film could be the cheapest and most enjoyable production textbook you'll ever buy. With a heavy dependence on style, soundtrack and more tracking shots than Welles on speed, Run Lola Run all but ignores plot and bathes itself in the kind of mile-a-minute, fast-paced, what's-coming-next, visual eye-candy that MTV forgot about ages ago. In a year heavy with concept films, only Blair Witch Project has relied more heavily on concept than this puppy.

Franka Portente is Lola. Her hair is red. No particular reason for that, other than it looks good blowing in the wind as she runs.. and runs.. and runs.. and rrrruuuunnns.. In fact, Lola spends more time on the move than Salman Rushdie under a spotlight. But I digress.

She's running because she's got twenty minutes to raise 100,000 deutchmarks (it's a German film, they don't have dollars, Sparky) or her boyfriend gets his major organs heavily ventilated by large bald Germans. As you can probably guess, ventilated organs hurt. So how to get the money? Where to get the money? How to fill eighty minutes with a plot that should be over in twenty?

Now this is where the movie (or if you prefer to be in character, you could call it a 'moofie') takes a few risks. Think back to Hal Hartley's film, Flirt. For those uninitiated with Hartley's work (heathens) Flirt takes a character through a story, then doubles back and takes another character through same, then doubles back again… let's be honest, it might be Hartley, but it'll send you to sleep in no time at all. Hartley made the mistake of having his characters repeat every line of dialogue and every movement each time they backtracked and the result was amazingly tedious.

So when Run Lola Run backtracks the first thing you think is "oh, fuck off, not this shit again." But Tom Tykwer, the German schweinhundt who made this moofie, is smarter than that. He takes the characters in other directions completely, which not only leads to an absence of bordeom, but to some interesting twists. There is no hard and fast format here. It's just a visual boullabaise (guess who's cooking as he types) where script takes a back seat to every flashy TV/music video/effects/filter/dolly/crane technique seemingly ever employed. It's all so energetic than it's not until a few hours afterwards that you really admit to yourself "hang on a sec, that was actually a bit crappy."

To be fair, there's so much going on in Run Lola Run that it's easy to go along for the ride and leave your brain in the trunk, but Tykwer doesn't get it all his own way. Smart he may be, but he's just a little too smart at times. In a bid to mix things up and give certain subplots a TV soapie feel, he's mixed in digital video with 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, split-screens, even a little euro-animation, sometimes cutting between the formats so quickly you wonder what the point was. Along these lines, the story also chops and changes, sometimes going off on such a tangent and for so long that you can actually sense the audience's relief when the power-sprinting Lola lurches into view and we get back to the main schtick.

You can't judge Run Lola Run as simply as you can judge such gobshite as… ooh.. Random Hearts, Stigmata and Blue Streak. It's not your usual Hollywood crap. It's more your usual Berlin crap, mixed in with a bit of Blair Witch, some Ralph Bakshi, the odd element of General Hospital and a buttload of Spike Jonze.

If that doesn't sound appetising, well wait for the video. It'll look just as good on the telly and your feet won't stick to the floor. Unless you live in a trailer. Punk.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/24/99 23:10:05
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

4/03/11 Glenn VERY good movie; outstanding "energy" and wonderful soundtrack; VERY COOL Movie. 4 stars
3/08/06 Ashley Amazing! So much fun. It will appeal to a very wide audience of filmgoers. 5 stars
11/21/05 ken mad 5 stars
10/18/04 Hadassah There was so much symbolism in this movie, I've watched it about 6 times. 5 stars
9/26/04 Tor Honolulu If I ruled cable, this is would have its own channel and play non stop 5 stars
9/15/04 Muscle Mike Great spirit! I needed a cool-down lap after viewing this film. 5 stars
6/22/04 Kate Going 100km/s, the "parallel universe" theme, music and "outcomes" of actions is brilliant! 5 stars
5/12/04 John gets repetitive after a while, feels like it should have been a short film 2 stars
12/14/03 Image15 Fate and Destiny in 81 minutes...Great flick 4 stars
11/14/03 Anderson You won't fall alseep in total 81 minutes 4 stars
11/12/03 heidi it is interesting when i watched the 2nd replay...but it is not when i watched the 3rd 3 stars
11/08/03 Cindy quite interesting with three different endings just like a game 4 stars
10/16/03 Jenny There are lots of meanings included, but I can't really understand by watched it once only. 5 stars
10/08/03 Ka Yiu its a interesting film 3 stars
10/07/03 suki wu interesting and refreshing 4 stars
10/07/03 Van that's an interesting film i haven't seen before 4 stars
10/07/03 xanthe somehow it is a pretty good film as the story can be repeated three times without boring 4 stars
10/06/03 B quite interesting 4 stars
10/05/03 Andrew German Techno beats match the rhythm of the film! 5 stars
10/04/03 John That's is a very special film coz you can say it has 3 ending! 5 stars
10/01/03 yui exciting 4 stars
9/30/03 Ophelia 3 ending film is so interesting 5 stars
9/30/03 estheticaura A lady that would do it all over again, just for her lover. 4 stars
9/29/03 KKS_flimic nothing's special, just repeat for three times...but somethings really unexpected 3 stars
9/28/03 Yan_space I most like the music and light of this film, but the story of this film was a bit bored. 3 stars
9/28/03 Mark Fortner This is my favourite movie 5 stars
9/27/03 Irene Quite interesting 4 stars
9/26/03 Monica It cannot be imagined that the ending was like this if you haven't seen it before. 4 stars
9/25/03 J. LEE Repetition of the story makes the film very attractive 4 stars
9/25/03 Francis Space i think thiss film the pattern is quite special, many thing is out my expectation 4 stars
9/25/03 Jimmy_space In my view, it's not very interesting. Lola seems like Jesus, the story is unbelieveable. 3 stars
9/24/03 karen interesting 4 stars
6/21/03 Andilecious Briliant concept and well executed 5 stars
5/06/03 Dave Loved it. Slick, stylish, funny and believable, and if you don't like subs then fuck off. 5 stars
4/18/03 Olivia best film I've seen in years 5 stars
2/18/03 thomas york lola is a fun movie, you care what happens to the characters and the soundtrack kicks ass 5 stars
2/09/03 Zefram Mann Completely style over substance, but what good style it is in places. 4 stars
12/25/02 Goofy Maxwell Tom Tykwer? Sounds like the name of a hobbit. btw, "Lola" runs rings round LOTR. 5 stars
11/23/02 Christopher Liked it. Interesting. 4 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum I love Franka 5 stars
9/01/02 Robbie Banfitch there's so much to like in this movie 5 stars
8/19/02 .Choadushouse. Amazing! Unlike any film I've ever seen! Completely entertaining and Lola is SO HOT!!! 5 stars
8/11/02 akash sexy 5 stars
7/09/02 Movie Expert Just another example that 99 was one of the most innovative and best years at the movies 5 stars
6/23/02 Phil M. Aficionado Inventive/gripping, little twists provide robust different outcomes. Subtitled beats dubbed 4 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi this film was fucking awesome, i could watch it for hours and hours, ova and ova agen 5 stars
4/27/02 Gremlin A different movie, nice change of style, action, and German background makes it great. 5 stars
3/23/02 R.W. Welch Inventive format, longer on technique than substance. 4 stars
2/20/02 Sebastian Brocks Good Film with 'special' story 5 stars
1/13/02 The Moorhen WOAH! 5 stars
1/05/02 Sparky Polastri One of the most watchable movies ever; I love this the most 5 stars
9/26/01 Gabrielle I liked it. It had pace, action and variation. It was never dull or boring. 4 stars
9/03/01 Butterbean Great movie! I love the parts where Lola runs into people and we get to see thier future. 5 stars
8/16/01 Marlene I have'nt watched this movie, but The devil told me it was good so I like it. 4 stars
7/20/01 Gus It blew me away after a disappointing start 5 stars
5/15/01 P.Rodriguez Sick Techno Soundtrack and some of the madests character credits makes the film a classic. 5 stars
5/15/01 zeitgeist u have to respect this kind of originality 5 stars
5/03/01 Bada Bing Crosby Everything I look for in a movie is right here in this masterpiece 5 stars
4/27/01 Silver Starfire It has an innovative storyline that keeps you on edge the entire time you watch. 5 stars
4/15/01 y2mckay Great premise and story, seamlessly meshed with an awesome techno soundtrack. BUY THIS DVD. 5 stars
3/11/01 Vinod Zachariah Really Amazing Idea 5 stars
2/28/01 Loki You must see it. 5 stars
2/21/01 Rocket Boy Yum. 5 stars
2/13/01 stella Klassnoe kino 5 stars
2/09/01 John Adams Chutiya jevu movie cheeeeee............ 5 stars
1/10/01 Rob Banfitch If only america could make movies like this. 5 stars
1/09/01 Eden This movie is unlelieveable. it perfectly fuses sound and sight. 5 stars
1/03/01 svetlana so fast paced it only felt 20 mins long! 5 stars
12/28/00 Kat tres magnifique 5 stars
10/11/00 P. Rodriguez FanF@#$nTastic easily leaves for dead shit american thrillers. 5 stars
8/02/00 Delusia Great love story. 5 stars
7/14/00 Dr Strange I thought this was great, visually perfect, and I'm always a sucker for this type of story. 5 stars
7/13/00 Tom Very cool! 5 stars
7/07/00 Elvisfan Wow, she runs & screams & smokes like a champ! Great great movie 5 stars
6/26/00 stranded on the Island Best movie of 1999! Expect to be worn out by the time you finish watching... 5 stars
5/29/00 Weird Andy I could watch stuff like this for free on MTV's "AMP." Great opening sequence, though. 3 stars
5/03/00 Mortis Amazing editing, otherworldly storyline, Fuckin' awesome 5 stars
1/10/00 Will run you crazy bitch run 5 stars
1/06/00 Jason Imaginative, enthusiastic, thoughtful and energetic 5 stars
12/20/99 Pix Cliche story line - Fantastic execution. 5 stars
12/12/99 Glenn A high-energy romp. And then a romp. And then another romp. 5 stars
11/29/99 Mic Not as good as I thought it would be, but nevertheless... 4 stars
11/16/99 gnomical inventive, enjoyable. loved the mixed media approach. 4 stars
11/08/99 Eden all I can say is WOW. Amazing! 5 stars
11/08/99 Ruth J BRILLIANT!!! 5 stars
11/05/99 Mike Not as good as what you may think... 4 stars
10/30/99 cate dare fantastic 5 stars
10/27/99 pipeman So fucking cool. I was mesmerized. AND I went out and bought the soundtrack immediately. 5 stars
10/26/99 Greg A fun film 4 stars
10/26/99 Pierce Lanson Creative, Fast, Exciting, Great music, Thought-provoking-Brilliant 5 stars
10/25/99 Gawain McLachlan Adrenaline pumping,kinetic, techno fuelled, hyperactivity. Run into your cinema now! 5 stars
10/23/99 Belinda Get the soundtrack 4 stars
10/17/99 Grahame Wells Loved it: striking, brilliant, funny 5 stars
10/12/99 Jon I like Lola, she is a nice girl. 5 stars
10/11/99 Weird Andy Great opening sequence. Some nice touches, but the film's structure saps its energy. 4 stars
10/01/99 majawat quirky, fun 4 stars
9/19/99 Costars Creative, Funky & FUN 4 stars
9/19/99 majawat das is fun movie 4 stars
9/18/99 Mairi Thomas What a blast! Fast, pacey, gripping and FUN 5 stars
9/17/99 Robert Smith I liked it. I liked it a lot. 5 stars
9/17/99 Richard Fortunato really really fun to watch- German enuf to seem "different", universal enuf to be great 5 stars
9/16/99 Heather Loved it!! Just going off to dye my hair red.... 5 stars
9/09/99 Dr. Fardook Restored my faith in humanity, art, and senseless beautiful flash 5 stars
9/09/99 Elijah The über-action movie! Action for the brain 5 stars
8/16/99 sean a hyper-active synthetic thrill ride that blows the mind away and leaves you begging 4 more 5 stars
8/16/99 Kenéz Krisztián kelotiodni 5 stars
8/13/99 ProfJim An MTV video feature length film done right, now with metaphysics and chaos theory added! 5 stars
8/12/99 raf AMAZING 5 stars
8/04/99 Cameron ... 4 stars
8/03/99 jason as slick as the shit that you dont even have to wipe. 5 stars
8/03/99 Milena Verzeanu Awesome music ! Definitely the best and freshest movie of the year ! 5 stars
7/29/99 ralph norton GREAT fast paced film, I loved it! Unfortuatly Hollywood will ruin it with a remake,I'msure 5 stars
7/26/99 Suzanne Riveting, energetic, amazing! 5 stars
7/25/99 Tom Moore rocked! 5 stars
7/25/99 jen please, PLEASE don't let hollywood fuck with this one... 5 stars
7/24/99 iyu There is no genius. This movie is a repetitive pretentious piece of German shit. Lame. 5 stars
7/13/99 jvt Inventive, running time flies by, but LOCK, STOCK is still year's best arthouse so far 4 stars
7/10/99 bridgette you can't help but get into it. high energy. great soundtrack. 5 stars
7/10/99 James Hong Brilliant, as good as or better then 2 smoking barrels 5 stars
7/09/99 Oliver Bandte energetic, high power, brack through movie 5 stars
7/07/99 Brian M very kinetic, techno love story 3 stars
6/21/99 Vanessa Meidinger fast, varied, great ideas, breathtaking 5 stars
6/18/99 Mr Showbiz Not much depth, but has kinetic, exhilirating energy in spades. 4 stars
6/14/99 Aoife White Adrenalin rush. Smart sassy Lola tries to beat the clock and save her boyfriend. Echt cool. 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  18-Jun-1999 (R)


  21-Oct-1999 (MA)

Directed by
  Tom Tykwer

Written by
  Tom Tykwer

  Franka Potente
  Moritz Bleibtreu
  Herbert Knaup
  Nina Petri
  Armin Rohde
  Joachim Król

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast