Review: Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa
Directed by: Declan Lowney
Starring: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Sean Pertwee.
Rating: Running Time: 90 mins.
Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) works along with fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) at radio station North Norfolk Digital, a small local radio station. When the station is taken over by a corporation and re-branded into a new station named ‘Shape’, a decision is made regarding the image of the new station, and ageing DJ Pat, who is considered an outsider to most of the staff and whose audience is considered to be too old, is fired from the station as part of the shake up. That evening, at the launch party for Shape, a disgruntled Pat turns up with a shotgun and takes almost everyone present hostage with Alan being the exception.
Managing to escape the scene, Alan goes to the police only to be asked to go back into the situation as Pat, considering him his only friend at the station, demands Alan be the go-between for the hostage negotiations. Agreeing to do so, Alan enters into the station, realising that this could also be an opportunity for him to raise his own fledging PR, but once inside is forced to try and keep Pat calm, whilst also having to partake in a live radio broadcast as Pat’s co-host.
I have to admit I’m not a fan of the Alan Partridge character, and if ever ran across it on television I would immediately change the channel. It’s a big surprise to me to admit that even though the character does annoy me, I immensely enjoyed this movie. Instead of depending on the character to provide the quips and fill the 90 minutes running time, this takes the character – quips and all – and places him in a situation out of his depth.
There’s politically incorrect comments, there’s some slight satirical comment on corporate take overs, there’s the lines of dialogue that go on long without someone there to say ‘please, stop’ but that are genuinely funny. It won’t win any awards for being creative, being especially well filmed, or being especially well written, but it’s good, largely clean, fun, and stays away from the current trend of delving into gross-out comedy, but it still manages to be consistently funny from start to finish.
I have heard comments from some that it may not be as funny as some of the television episodes, possibly from being restrained slightly, but the audience were laughing throughout, and at no point does the pace begin to lag or did the laughs stop coming. It’s not the best comedy to have come out in recent years, but it’s a solid 90 minutes of successful laughs that more than entertains.