Watch & Reload

This post compares Run Lola Run to Edge of Tomorrow (contains spoilers).

Once I got to the first reload in Run Lola Run, I was immediately pleased with the direction the movie was going in and then understood why MP assigned it.  That moment also sparked my memory of watching Edge of Tomorrow, a movie that came out last summer with a similar mechanic. I decided to re-watch them both and see what I found.

run-lola-run edge-of-tomorrow
Run Lola Run Edge of Tomorrow
  • 3 play-throughs
  • 25 play-throughs on screen (though implied to be at least 200)
  • Origin of reload ability isn’t explained (could’ve been a game all along)
    • It’s also unclear whether the ability can be lost
  • Reload ability is acquired from killing the alpha mimic
    • Can be lost via blood transfusion
  • Restarts when either Lola or Manni dies
    • Max time: 20 minutes
  • Only restarts when Cage dies within the time frame
    • Max time: 1-2 days
  • Goal is clear from the beginning (get the money, save Manni, stay alive)
  • Cage’s objective changes a few times, or at least gets more specific.
  • Overall goal is to win the alien war
  • Character’s motivation is love
  • Character’s motivation goes as follows:
    1. avoid enlistment
    2. stay alive
    3. figure out what is happening to him
    4. get training
    5. keep Rita alive
    6. find and destroy the Omega
  • Past setting (current at the time?)
  • Futuristic setting
  • A little ambiguous what knowledge Lola carries over in each life
    • Ex: did she purposefully save Meyers’s life?
    • Clearer about learning to avoid the guy’s foot in the stairwell
  • Obviously carries over knowledge, strength, and
    growing feelings for Rita through each run-through

Similarities: Guess what — they both figured out how to switch off the safety! Hooray! Both main characters also affect the outcome of the lives around them that change depending on their actions.

Before I comment on some of the differences, I will say that I enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow a lot better, though it may be unfair to compare the two given the time they were released and their respective budgets alone.

While it didn’t bother me not knowing the origin of the reload in Run Lola Run, having that explanation in Edge of Tomorrow was exciting and central to the plot. Additionally, I feel the sheer number of times Cage died allows for a lot of humor (ex: rolling under the truck, getting shot by Rita over and over again). Run Lola Run is more serious in that, but what is interesting about the shorter time frame is that the movie can show each run-through in its entirety. As for being able to remove the reload power, Edge of Tomorrow creates a lot of drama with this detail, which is definitely pivotal to the story line.

For others that have seen both movies, what do you think? What else did you notice?

Also, if you liked these two, Source Code is another one you may enjoy.

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0 thoughts on “Watch & Reload

  1. Very interesting post, I can’t remember if Lola had the ability to remember her past sequences like the main character in Edge of Tomorrow though.

    1. After watching it again, it still feels unclear whether Lola remembers the previous playthroughs. Figuring out the safety the second time might have been a simple detail to advance the story line. Either way, any knowledge Lola may have carried over is nowhere near as obvious as it is for William Cage in Edge of Tomorrow. I think this may be attributed to the massive difference in number of run-throughs.

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