A woman (Franka Potente) races against the clock to meet her boyfriend (Moritz Bleibtreu), who has fallen foul of his gangster boss and needs big money, fast. The film plays out in three scenarios, which demonstrate the repercussions of tiny choices and missed opportunities.
Run Lola Run, an enormous success in Germany and elsewhere, is a "What If?" film like Sliding Doors and Kieslowski's Blind Chance.
We're given three alternatives scenarios of Lola's efforts to get the money Manni needs but more than that: the film positively bursts with alternatives of all kinds.
At times it seems almost like an interactive movie. Writer-director Tom Tykwer handles this techno thriller at a breakneck pace - the action never lets up, and Franka Potente is terrifically good as the sprinting, road-running heroine.
Tykwer uses animation, video and all kinds of suspense techniques to make this a genuinely breathtaking experience, and the excellent music drives it all along.
It's a clever film, from its opening credits to its breathless conclusion - a very young, hip, picture with a fine sense of cinema and a smart sense of humour.
Watch 'Run Lola Run'
Now streaming at SBS On Demand: