Saturday, 29 March 2014

Review - Run Lola Run (1998 - Dir. Tom Tykwer)

(To increase your enjoyment by a factor of 2.35 when reading this review have a listen to a lovely bit of Kool & the Gang - evlkeith.)

This is a low key German offering with the faint aroma of Groundhog Day permeating its soul. Lola (Franka Potente) must run to save her dodgy boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) from certain death, after gormlessly leaving a gangster’s substantial wedge of drug money on the tube. Why she bothers to save him I have no idea, because she could seriously do better, but she tries anyway. Over three distinct episodes she tries, tries and tries again, each time making subtle differences to each separate reality.

It’s well made and relatively enjoyable, but it leaves you mysteriously unsatisfied. Obviously there’s lots of frantic running from Lola as she dashes about breaking the laws of time and space. This is fine, but her outfit is woefully inappropriate for the task and you really want her to get changed into some gym kit for her subsequent outings. Sadly this never enters her head and the horrible tattoo around her belly button doesn’t help matters. The sub-plot of her father’s mysterious relationship is a welcome and interesting embellishment, but it’s unfortunately only short respite from the breathless pounding of those streets.

It’s cleverly plotted to an extent, but there’s little of the time travelling wow factor of Timecrimes or even Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s a clinical but underwhelming experience, and this isn’t helped by the superficial main characters who are neither likeable or particularly nasty. In the end we are left ambivalent to their fate(s) as the film performs like a mid table Bundesliga team; efficient yet without the creativity to climb the table.

It’s not a terrible film, but it falls under the most damning of categories; somewhere between faint praise and mildly annoying. Yes it’s mediocre! It neither offends nor enlightens. Watch with limited expectations at best.


If you like this you could also try:
Good Bye Lenin, The Lives of Others.

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