“Partridge is a lot like marmite in that you either love him or hate him and if this film was a stick of Brighton rock it would be marmite flavoured with the word ‘AHA!’ written all the way through.”
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
By Matt Allen
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)
Cast: Aaron Steve Coogan, Tim Key, Sean Pertwee, Felicity Montagu
Director(s): Declan Lowney
Screenwriter(s): Peter Baynham, Steve Coogan
Running Time: 88 mins
Alan Partridge has had many incarnations over the years. In the prime of his fictional career he took the reins as host on his own chat show, later he starred in a sitcom following his failed attempt at ‘bouncing back’ and more recently he’s been seen on the web with the cringe worthy radio segment Mid Morning Matters. So perhaps it was only inevitable that he made the transition to the silver screen and this truly is a cinematic Alan Partridge experience. The stakes are higher, the action is bigger and the laughs are non-stop.
When disgruntled disc jockey Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) is given the boot from the recently revamped North Norfolk Digital things soon escalates into a siege situation. Now it’s down to Norwich’s own Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) to save the day and possibly his career.
Many familiar faces from the Partridge back catalogue make their appearance including Michael the incomprehensible Geordie (who’s accent has been notably scaled down, presumably for an American audience), Alan’s long suffering PA Lynn and recent addition to the fold Sidekick Simon who after essentially being Alan’s whipping boy on Mid Morning Matters manages to claim a few big laughs of his own.
Throw in a few new faces in the form of the misfit talent that makes up the newly names ‘Shape Radio’ and you have a film that brings the laughs so incessantly for 90 minutes you’ll be grateful for the few jokeless moments of exposition in which you can catch your breath. Alan’s Gestapo style address to the board members of new parent company is especially not to be missed.
From the moment the opening credits roll and Alan mimes along to Roachford’s Cuddly Toy it is clear that this is a film made for fans of the character. Partridge is a lot like marmite in that you either love him or hate him and if this film was a stick of Brighton rock it would be marmite flavoured with the word ‘AHA!’ written all the way through.
If you’re already a fan then Alpha Papa will not disappoint, if Alan’s not your cup of tea then I advise giving this one a very wide berth but if you haven’t given him a chance yet I strongly urge you do and this film would be the perfect place to start.