Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Movie Review

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In bringing his iconic 1990s radio and TV character to the big screen, Coogan refreshingly refuses to play to American audiences: this film is purely British in its story, setting and characters. And as it gleefully redefines almost every action movie cliche imaginable, it's also one of the funniest films of the year. This is party due to the hilariously astute script, but also because Alan Partridge is both riotously embarrassing and utterly loveable.

As we meet him this time , Alan (Coogan) is trying to save his job at North Norfolk Digital when the radio station is bought by a corporation and turned in to Shape ("The way you want it to be"). In the process, Alan gets his colleague Pat (Meaney) sacked, and at the Shape launch party Pat goes postal with a shotgun, taking the staff hostage. As the police close in around the station, Alan becomes the chief negotiator, realising that this can only help boost his fame. But as he works on increasing his own publicity, Pat is menacing his on-air sidekick Simon (Key), while his offbeat security guard friend Michael (Greenall) finds a place to hide and his assistant (Montagu) has her own encounter with the media.

After all these years, Coogan is able to completely vanish into Alan's distinctive personality, saying all the wrong things at the wrong times while constantly getting distracted by irrelevant details. He only ever does the right thing by mistake. Yes, Alan is a buffoon, but he isn't stupid. Coogan plays him so perfectly that we can't help but like Alan even with his distinctive flaws. And the film actually generates a real sense of menace in this mini-Die Hard siege scenario, blending real danger with inspired physical comedy. And virtually every line of dialog has a joke in it.

Since the humour is character-based, the film not only makes us laugh constantly but also keeps us engaged with everything that happens. Each character has his or her own amusing neurosis, which allows the script to poke fun at various aspects of the media. The title sequence alone is a classic, as Alan lip-synchs his way through Roachford's Cuddly Toy on the car radio while shouting abuse at other drivers. And several scenes have pointed gags, including the corporate greed angle and of course Alan's ego-trip as he sees himself on the TV news: "I am siege face!" We certainly haven't heard the last of him.

Rich Cline

Cast & Crew

Director : Declan Lowney

Producer : , Henry Normal

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Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: 15, 2013

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