The views of Judge Christopher Kulik do not represent those of film critics as a whole.
Just what we needed: a lesbian version of Run Lola Run!
I knew this day would come. For the first time since joining DVD Verdict, I have rewarded a film the numerical score of zero. It was bound to happen to sooner or later, as And Then Came Lola emerges as inept garbage, guilty of cinematic thievery. In the tradition of such herpes as endless love, The Scarlet Letter and Waiting comes an uncalled-for lesbian version of Tom Tykwer's great Run Lola Run. The filmmakers want you to think it's a respectful homage with only the central conflict changed. Think again.
Lola (Ashleigh Sumner, Criminal Minds) is a photographer who's just gotten to first base with the succulent Casey (Jill Bennett, We Have To Stop Now). Wardrobe aside, Lola has the most basic character flaw you could imagine: truancy. Now she faces the ultimate test when she must deliver a set of photographs to Casey's job interview within a half-hour, involving lots and lots of running across San Francisco. Will she make it in time before Casey is turned on by her potential boss, the buxom Danielle (Cathy DeBuono, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)? The screenwriters surely do, or else they wouldn't showcase three different scenarios of Lola attempting to get to Casey in time.
I'd love to call And Then Came Lola just plain BS and call it day, I really would. This disease of a movie is amateurish, irresponsible and unfunny; wasting the time and energy of its cast and crew (and the viewer, for that matter). What prompted directors Ellen Seidler & Megan Siler to rip-off Run Lola Run down to the subtlest of details is beyond me, but the result is as offensive as movies get. It doesn't even feel like they are trying to do anything original, relying on mind-numbing contrivance after mind-numbing contrivance as they constantly refer to Lola's template. Running at only 73 minutes, And Then Came Lola is punishingly long, folks; after awhile, I was praying for an accident to happen to the screener.
As in Run, Lola, Run, Seidler & Siler mix old-school animation, split screens and flashbacks during three different scenarios as Lola runs to her target. The considerable technical values sink under their own recycled weight, because all they really do is remind us of how stunningly visceral Tykwer's film is. The camerawork in And Then Came Lola, meant to be hyperkinetic, comes off as drunk and disorderly. We spend way too much time in the back-alleys of SF than going into busy areas of the city. The individuals Lola encounters during her run are crudely inserted, and many of them—especially a girl with a dog—are obnoxious to the nth degree. I'm not sure if Tykwer knows about this abjectly painful clone, but I'm sure he would want to bring about legal action upon viewing.
As expected, there are several "hot" lesbian love scenes covering roughly a quarter of the entire movie! As a red-blooded American male, I found these to be excruciating, boring and monotonous. When the characters start feeling each other up, Lola descends quickly into soft-core territory without apology. And the final sequence—which gives the title a ludicrous double meaning—is about as profound as a guy robbing a gun store with a knife.
On top of all that, dozens of points in the narrative are desperate for drops of logic. Here's a quick sampling:
• Wouldn't it have been easier to transfer the prints via phone
or fax from the photo shop to the job interview?
Finally, don't even get me started on the performances. The script and direction may be abysmal in the extreme, but the acting is brutally shameful. Sumner's self-consciously hip approach is tedious and atrocious from the word go; she speaks her lines as if she's overly concerned about being intelligible. Not only is Sumner no Franka Potente, the character's ignorance is so loud it makes one cry out for a MST3K perspective. Bennett and DeBuono are both equally embarrassing; during the bar scenes, they seem to care more about calling people on their cell phones than building and developing their characters.
To sum up: expletive deleted, expletive deleted, expletive deleted!
Wolfe sent us a screener, so I cannot say what the final product will look like (which is just as well). All I can say is the print is anamorphic, there's a stereo track, no subtitles, and no extras aside from a trailer.
Guilty of being one the most heinous forms of cinematic plagiarism ever committed!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Wolfe Video
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