Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)

Ⓒ Baby Cow Films
Ⓒ Baby Cow Films

Director: Declan Lowney Cast: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Felicity Montagu, Tim Key, Nigel Lindsay

Veteran TV and radio host Alan Partridge (Coogan) unwittingly finds himself involved in a hostage situation at the radio station where he works.  The perpetrator, sacked DJ Pat Farrell (Meaney), sees Alan as his only friend, causing Alan to become mediator between Pat and the police. Little does Pat know that Alan was the one who got him fired- thus ensue the consequences of Alan’s guilty conscience and Pat’s ever decreasing patience.

There was always a risk that Alpha Papa wouldn’t live up to the classic Alan Partridge TV and radio series that came before it. However, Alpha Papa successfully creates the same kind of awkwardness, humour, and simply ludicrous situations that the previous Alan Partridge productions did so well. The film certainly has more action than regular Alan Partridge TV episodes, but I don’t think any of the incidents in the film would ever have been considered beyond Alan’s (lack of) capabilities; it is still believable that Alan could get himself into such a mess, even if it is perhaps more serious than usual. The film also has a satisfactory ending, putting the Alan Partridge story to bed once and for all- no loose ends here. The storyline isn’t complicated and there are no deep meanings to it, but to be honest who doesn’t enjoy a movie like that?

I think Alpha Papa can still work as a stand-alone film for those who haven’t seen or heard anything of Alan previously. The sense of humour however is quite alternative so maybe some people won’t quite engage with it, but it’s a clever kind of humour and not too obvious, which I personally prefer to slapstick, laugh-out-loud comedies. It’s an easy movie to watch, with an storyline that is easy to follow and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

4 stars

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