Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)

Alan Partridge is dead funny.

We were tempted to leave the review at just that, “Alan Partridge is dead funny”. It sums up the film perfectly. If you are a fan of Steve Coogan’s finest creation then there is no way you won’t love this film. Even if you aren’t familiar with the titular radio “star” or North Norfolk Digital then there is so much to enjoy about this very funny film.

Steve Coogan first created the character of Alan Partridge some 20 years ago and has since appeared in virtually every entertainment medium since his inception, it was only a matter of time before he attempted to conquer movies, and we’re glad he did.

You could argue that the plot is a little flimsy and mostly formulaic but it’s really a secondary concern. Why waste your time getting bogged down in plot details when you can spend your time listening to the cringe worthy stuff that comes out of Partridge’s mouth almost constantly.

But here is the basic outline anyway. Alan stitches up sad sack DJ Pat Farrell, (a brilliant Colm Meaney) by getting him fired instead of himself when new owners come in to shake up NND. A disgruntled Pat returns with a gun and hold everyone hostage. When Alan becomes the face of the siege he senses an opportunity to get his face back in the public consciousness.
And that’s it really.

However, the joy here lies in watching Coogan inhabit a character so completely that I don’t doubt that he dreams in AP’s voice. His every twitch and preening glance is perfect. There’s gold throughout the running time, it’s consistently funny and on 4-5 occasions funny enough to make you do your real laugh, not that shit one you put on in front of people, your REAL laugh. You know the one, the one where you sound like a donkey getting kicked in the neathers.

AP regulars get little moments to shine as well, including the ever faithful Lynne (Felicity Montagu), DJ with a past Dave Clifton, (Phil Cornwell) and of course Michael, (Simon Greenall). It’s a shame that Michael didn’t get more lines as he’s always a treat.

Yes there are a few rough edges but this is part of its charm. If Coogan et al had attempted to make a big screen adventure it would have failed. It retains some small screen charm and that’s what makes it work.

Go and see it and laugh and cringe in equal measure. Top stuff, Coogan’s best performance since 24hr Party People.


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