If you have to watch one Amazon Prime Video movie in May 2024, stream this one

Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu in Run Lola Run.
Prokino Filmverleih

Classic film lovers have a lot to enjoy on Amazon Prime Video in May, including some of Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense thrillers like Psycho, Rear Window, and Rope. For comedy fans, there’s Airplane! and Bottle Rocket, while Chocolat and Cold Mountain should warm the hearts of romance aficionados. Gattaca offers some sci-fi-adjacent drama, while Once Upon A Time In The West is the last great spaghetti western. But if you only watch one Amazon Prime Video movie in May 2024, our pick is the 1998 German thriller Run Lola Run.

Tom Tykwer wrote and directed Run Lola Run, which was considered an experimental film during its initial release. Franka Potente stars a Lola, a woman who only has 20 minutes to save the life of her boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu). And when fate conspires against Lola’s efforts, she writes her own fate through sheer force of will. Run Lola Run is only 80 minutes long, but it moves at such a fast pace that you’ll hardly notice the time. If you haven’t seen Run Lola Run, these are the reasons why it’s the movie to stream this month on Amazon Prime Video.

Franka Potente gives a terrific performance

Franka Potente in Run Lola Run.
Prokino Filmverleih

The vast majority of this movie hinges on Franka Potente’s Lola as she literally runs to save the man she loves. And Potente is completely believable as Lola puts herself on the line and risks her own life to make sure that Manni keeps breathing. That’s not the only story that’s happening in Lola’s life during the film. She also discovers some very unhappy news from her father (Herbert Knaup), which severely damages their relationship. It’s a lot to process for anyone, much less a woman on such a tight schedule. Again, every moment that delays Lola is a moment that further endangers Manni.

This really should have been Potente’s star-making role, and she did have some high-profile American roles afterward including a leading part in The Bourne Identity. While Potente has consistently had roles since Run Lola Run, she’s never quite reached the level that she deserved to achieve. Regardless, Potente is the reason why we buy into Run Lola Run‘s audacious premise.

The movie’s maximalist multiverse was way ahead of its time

Franka Potente in Run Lola Run.
Prokino Filmverleih

The entire idea of alternate timelines and the existence of the multiverse have been taken into the mainstream by films like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Everything Everywhere All At Once. Run Lola Run sprang it on audiences 26 years ago when Lola’s first attempt to save Manni ends badly for both of them. And then inexplicably, Lola has another chance to get things right again and again.

There are both subtle and big changes to the way that events unfold each time Run Lola Run resets the clock on Lola’s quest. Part of the fun is watching for the domino effects, which have both good and bad outcomes for Lola. She doesn’t have control over how things play out, and that tends to lean more toward chaos than anything else.

The music is incredibly energetic

Run Lola Run – Twenty Minutes

Run Lola Run has been compared to MTV music videos, and it’s not that far of a conceptual leap. The film’s pulse-pounding techno-pop by Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil adds to the story’s sense of excitement and drive.

Run Lola Run really does feel like it could have been a music video, and its music fuels the quick pace of the film. Much like the recent Challengers and its vital, techno-driven score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Run Lola Run just wouldn’t have been the same movie without those accompanying beats.

It’s a surprisingly effective love story

Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu in Run Lola Run.
Prokino Filmverleih

Compared to Lola, Manni’s kind of a pathetic guy who has put himself in a bad position where he’s lost the money that he was supposed to deliver to a crime boss named Ronnie (Heino Ferch). And coming up short with Ronnie means getting killed. Lola never holds that against Manni, and she races to save him each time.

There is a flashback to Lola and Manni in bed that reaffirms their love, but the real love story is about the lengths that Lola is willing to go for him. How many partners find a way to bend time and space just to reunite with their beloved? And in the end, Manni even finds some redemption for his inept actions before reuniting with his lover.

Watch Run Lola Run on Amazon Prime Video.

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