Run Lola Run

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Fair warning, here: the plot of Lola Rennt does not at all adequately describe the movie; the plot is a MacGuffin in and of itself. Instead, think of this movie as a video game style exploration of love and fate, except that it's techno, fast, and features a hot, red-haired German chick who spends most of the movie running.

After his girlfriend Lola's scooter is stolen, Manni, a courier for a crime boss, accidentally leaves 100 000 Deutschmarks on the subway, where it's stolen by a homeless man. He's dead if he doesn't bring it in, so he decides to rob a grocery store in order to make up for the loss. He helpfully informs Lola of this 20 minutes beforehand. Lola, whose father is a wealthy banker, decides to see if she can get Manni's money for him.

First loop[edit | hide | hide all]

As Lola leaves her apartment, a dog scares her, causing her to speed up slightly. When she comes to her father's bank, she interrupts her father's mistress just after she tells him that she is pregnant. Her father tells her that he's divorcing her mother and that he is not her real father. Even though she doesn't have the money, Lola decides to leave the bank and go to Manni anyway. She finds him in the process of robbing the grocery store, and decides to help him. The robbery itself goes smoothly, but the two are surrounded by the police as they flee, and a nervous cop shoots Lola during the standoff. Just before she dies, Lola says the word "stop."


Second loop[edit | hide]

The film then returns to Lola leaving her apartment. This time, a boy trips Lola, causing her to fall down the stairs and slowing her down. Because of her limp, she arrives at the bank slightly later than before, so her father's mistress has had time to admit the child is not in fact his. Lola takes a gun from a security guard and robs the bank (in the first scenario she learned how to take the safety off a gun, now she knows how to do this). She escapes from the bank after being mistaken for a hostage. She attempts to get a ride from an ambulance, but the driver refuses and, distracted, runs into a pane of glass that workers were carrying across the street. She manages to meet with Manni before the robbery, but the ambulance she tried to hitch a ride on earlier runs Manni over as he crosses the street.


Third loop[edit | hide]

The film restarts for a final time. Lola scares the dog away as she leaves, but is delayed when she is nearly run over by a car. This minor accident prevents the driver having the more significant accident we saw in the first two runs. Because the driver is not now delayed he arrives at the bank to go for lunch with Lola's father who now leaves the bank before Lola gets there. Lola runs in front of the bicyclist she ignored the previous times, causing him to take a detour, meeting the homeless guy and selling him his bike. The homeless guy then rides past Manni, who starts chasing him. Lola goes to a nearby casino, and bets on 20 in roulette with the last of her money. She wins twice, giving her more than enough money to take care of Manni's problem. She hitches a ride on the ambulance and catches Manni early again. Unbeknown to Lola, Manni has retrieved the stolen money and just delivered it to his boss. The film ends with him crossing the street and asking Lola about her bag of money.


Tropes used in Run Lola Run include:
  • Action Girl: Lola.
  • Animated Credits Opening
  • Anti-Villain: Arguably Lola and Manni, who are both apparently unrepentant smugglers, though shown sympathetically.
  • Anti Role Model: Virtually everyone in the film, from the bike thief, moped thief, homeless thief, struggling unemployed criminals, vain unfaithful wive, workaholic unfaithful husband...
  • Big Heroic Run: The Movie!
  • Chekhov's Skill: Zig zagged a little. When Lola takes part in the armed robbery in the first loop, Manni tells her how to turn the safety catch of a gun off. In the second loop she "remembers" this for when she stages her own robbery at the bank.
    • Also, Lola's screaming ability, assuming that's what caused her to win at Rouelette.
  • Cultural Translation: The English dub replaces the Deutchmarks with dollars.
  • Death By Pragmatism: According to Word of God, the man on the moped who dies in the third loop is the same man who robbed Lola's moped earlier in the day so he gets his comeuppance.
  • Dramatic Irony: Lola runs past the bum that robbed the money only a few seconds after she leaves the house in each loop not knowing who he is.
  • Dramatic Shattering
  • The End: During the ending credits the word "Ende" scrolls by.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Lola's death is the moment where you realize this isn't an ordinary crime thriller.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The German title "Lola Rennt" translates to "Lola Runs".
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: "Besides, I could never have fathered a freak like you..." "Yeah but you did, jerk!" "No I didn't!"
  • Flash Back: There are a few of these involving Lola and Manni having conversations while lying in bed.
  • Flash Forward: The futures of some of the people Lola meets on her journeys are shown through Blipverts, and the same people get different futures depending on the loop, and how their own minor interactions with Lola went. One old lady, who gets a Flash in each loop, was shown to lose custody of her child and kidnap another baby, win the lottery and live a life of decadence, or become a devout Catholic depending on whether Lola bumped into her or not.
  • For Want of a Nail: The differences in the three timelines are caused by various minor events that cumulatively slow down or hurry Lola's journey. In a more focused manner, when Lola impacts someone's life, the audience sees a quick few Polaroids of how their life changed as a result of the incident.
  • Groundhog Day Loop: The film's events loop over and over until Lola stops getting the Bad Endings.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Lola's 'parents', who are both cheating on each other.
  • Karma Houdini: Though they're portrayed as the heroes of the piece, Lola and Manni need the money in the first place as they are both accomplices in what is probably a deal shipping (possibly stolen) Mercedes Benzes to Africa in exchange for illegal blood diamonds (often mined with slave labor). However in the third loop, they get away scot-free (and with 100,000 Deutchmarks!).
    • When Lola's father swerves into the wrong lane to avoid Manni and the homeless man running across the road, he crashes into a white BMW, which is then hit from behind by the moped thief who stole Lola's scooter (setting the whole plot in motion). However while Lola's father and Mr. Meyers are knocked unconscious and the moped driver seems to be dead, the only people unharmed are the occupants of the BMW... Manni's crime boss and his underlings.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The "good" ending is the only one in which Lola doesn't try armed robbery.
    • But Manni gave the homeless man his gun in exchange for the money, and he takes it with a crazed and desperate look in his eyes...
  • Magic Countdown
  • Magic Realism: Lola appears to have screams that can shatter glass as well as possible powers of being able to persuade people to do things for her. She also remembers certain things she learned in separate loops.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Lola's shouting can shatter glass.
  • The Mistress
  • Multiple Endings: A non-interactive version.
  • One True Love: Both played straight and subverted in the course of the film.
    • [if Manni had died of a terminal illness] "And then a man with these really big green eyes shows up at the door... And he's so super cool and compassionate, and he'll listen to you talk your heart out all night long until your ears drop off ... Then you'd hop into his lap, cross me off your list, and that'll be the end of me!"
      • [without challenging him] "But Manni... you're not about to die."
  • Police Are Useless: In the first loop, a police officer accidentally shoots Lola. In the second, the police doesn't bother her... because of their stupidity (and possibly the fact that Lola doesn't look much like a typical bank robber).
  • The Power of Love: A possible explanation behind the loops (and certainly the reason for Lola's desperate attempts to get the money).
  • Recycled in Space: The American independent film And Then Came Lola is Run Lola Run with lesbians!
  • Redheaded Hero/Heroes Want Redheads: Lola.
  • Rule of Three
  • Sexless Marriage: Lola's 'parents'.
  • Sheet of Glass: In the second run, the ambulance Lola tries to hitch a ride on runs through a pane of glass. The delay causes the driver, presumably, to hurry and run over Manni in the street.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The second ending.
  • Shout-Out: To the movie Vertigo: the use of spirals and there is also a painting in the casino which was painted to look like the shots of the back of Kim Novak's head.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: When Manny and Lola talk on the phone.
  • Split Screen: Used throughout the film.
  • Wealthy Ever After
  • X Meets Y: Groundhog Day as directed by a Teutonic Quentin Tarantino.
  • You Gotta Have Red Hair: Lola. A classic case of Author Appeal, with the red hair also symbolizing passion and vitality.