Run, Lola, Run (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 10 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Note: Portions of this review are from our original review published in 1999.

Run, Lola, Run is another is what is becoming a trend in movie making these days. What exactly is that trend, you ask? Alternate points of view, or in this case, alternate takes on the same story. It sounds plain, but I have loved every movie I’ve seen like this. Now, I’m sure that there was one movie that was a ‘pioneer’ of this sort of thing made by someone who not a lot of people have heard of. I think the first movie like this that I saw was Reservoir Dogs. Now this differs form Reservoir Dogs (and Pulp Fiction for that matter) in the sense that those Tarantino movies showed the events that happened, it just started in the middle and wrapped around to where the story began, then progressed from there. Run, Lola, Run is more on par with movies like Sliding Doors and Go, both of which I loved. Those movies take events and do variations on them, or tell the same story from a different character’s point of view. Anyhow, I thought that may help before I progressed with the review…

With the above being said, Run, Lola, Run is still one of the more clever and imaginative movies that has come around in quite a while. It is a German film, true German at that, the disc has two 5.1 soundtracks one in its ‘native’ language and one dubbed in English. The story(ies) center around two main characters, Lola (Franka Potente) and Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) and the plot(s) go like this…Manni is a small time drug pusher, he makes quite a good living at it, but has lost 100,000 franks (or whatever they’re called over there) and he will die in 20 minutes when his boss arrives to pick him and the money, up. In a panic, he calls Lola and tells her of his predicament, and blames her. She wasn’t at the designated point to pick him up, so he took the train, got chased by the cops and left the money on a train only to be found (the money) by some bum. Now that part of the movie remains the same all the way through, there’s no changing that. That, as they say, is set in stone. Where Run, Lola, Run takes off (pardon the pun) is when the phone slams down, and it does. Now I’m not going to try and ruin the endings of each section of the movie, but I might unintentionally do so, so if you have even the slightest inkling that you don’t want to know any more stop reading here! In the first outing, Lola hangs up the phone and takes off like a bat out of hell. She’s running, thinking what to do to get $100,000, who can she call. All the time she’s thinking of what Manni told her, that if she weren’t there to meet him with the money he would take matters into his own hands and rob the nearby grocery store. Mixed in with a dash of techno animation, Lola makes her way to her father’s office, where we discover that he is having an affair. Bad goes to worse when he will not only give Lola the money she needs, but then tells her that she is an orphan and basically disowns her right then and there. Needless to say, ending one is not at all happy.

This goes right into the second part of the movie, and it’s here where I really started to like it. I had heard so many good things about the movie, but was kind of let down until here. I wanted to know what they were going to do with the other 55 minutes of the movie, for one! Story two starts the same as story one, the phone slams down, and the animation kicks in, but something different happens. Could it be that she fell over the dog at the end of the hall that she didn’t see the last time, could it be that she turns left instead of right. She makes a lot of the same decisions, but this time decides to take a different route to get the money. Relying on a streak of adrenaline that never seems to end and an enormous streak of good luck, she makes her way to the phone booth to meet Manni. Did she make it in time? Time for the third and final part to this story. This starts out the same as the other two, the phone slams down and the animation starts, but what is the deal with this dog? I don’t know.

Making yet another series of right (or wrong) calls, she makes her way to the bank, but then decides to depend of blind, random luck to get the money. This might be the only part of the film that I did not like, the third ending. Lola, as I mentioned before, has an incredible streak of luck and decides to take all she has and chance it at the roulette table. I wonder how she does? Run, Lola, Run is one of the better films I’ve seen in years. For a foreign film, which I usually stay away from, it has all the things that make us Americans like movies. Action, adventure, and a bit of the unknown. I wonder how many more movies like Run, Lola, Run will come out in the future? It is an interesting concept, just think of how different films could be. Not any film in particular, just all films? How different would your life be if maybe you took a left and were supposed to take a right? Maybe nothing would happen, maybe your life would be changed – who knows. Run, Lola, Run won’t change your life, but it’s worth a real hard look.

Video: How does it look?

Strangely enough, I still have my old standard DVD of “Run, Lola, Run” and for kicks I thought I’d break it out and pop it in my Blu-ray player to see how it contrasted with this new HD release. Right off the bat I noticed how much of an improvement the picture was, the colors seemed more bright and vivid and though I originally gave the standard DVD a score of “5”, that was 9 years ago and I had a much smaller television then. This Blu-ray release has a bit of grain attached to it, but Lola’s firey red hair still blazes from scene to scene and I’m happy to report that there’s a noticeable improvement in detail as well. Technology has been kind to this film and if you’ve never experienced it, why not start out with Blu-ray?

Audio: How does it sound?

“Run, Lola, Run” contains not one but two Dolby TrueHD tracks, on in the original German language and the other in the dubbed English language. As much of a purist as I am, I have to admit that I watched most of the film in English, only flipping to the German track at some key moments in the film. There’s not a whole lot of difference between the two tracks, except the dialogue as the ambient sound effects are essentially the same. There are a few scenes in which the surrounds really come into play, these are the “flash forward” scenes and if you’re familar with the movie then you know what I’m referring to. While the movie might not be the best example out there for audio, Sony has done a good job giving us the best they could with what was available.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Unfortunately there are no new extras on this Blu-ray release, we get the same supplements that are nearly a decade old now. The audio Commentary by Director Tom Tykwer and Franka Potente is still poignant, but a newer track might have been a welcome supplement. The music video “Believe” is still included as is the featurette “Still Running”

Disc Scores

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