AH-HA! JOE reviews Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
We wanted to love this. We wanted to love it so much. And praise be to Santa and the baby Jeebus, we weren’t disappointed.
Alan Partridge the man has been with us since the early nineties in various forms, through the medium of radio, television, a chat show, an audio book and online webisodes, and now everyone’s favourite egotistical, silver-tongued, radio jock has successfully made to the big screen.
From the glorious opening moments as Alan pulls on his calfskin driving gloves to mime along to Cuddly Toy by 80s rock non-gods Roachford, you know you’re in for a real yummy treat.
The quality of the film shouldn't really be too much of a surprise to be fair, especially considering that the script was written by a dreamteam of Partridge penmen including Steve Coogan, Peter Baynham, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons and, most importantly, the genius that is Armando Ianucci.
Alpha Papa tells the tale of... well, why have JOE ramble on about it when Alan can tell you himself:
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. We really couldn’t have.
Colm Meaney brilliantly plays the role of DJ Pat Farrell, the afore-mentioned “mad Irishman who goes mad with a gun.”
He’s mad for a reason though, disgruntled at the fact that his beloved North Norfolk Digital has been taken over by a giant media corporation in an attempt to make the station younger, hipper and sexier.
Following his unfortunate sacking (which is mainly Alan’s fault anyway), Farrell returns to the station, shotgun in hand and subsequently takes his new bosses and ex-colleagues hostage. There is of course only one man who can (maybe) save the day – Alan Patridge.
As the DJ says himself, “I am siege face.”
Familiar faces make a welcome return; Felicity Montagu as Alan’s long-suffering PA Lynne turns up with “hair like an explosion” and Simon Greenall hilariously pops up as the much loved Michael, like a “Geordie Anne Frank.”
The star of the show though is undoubtedly Alan himself. Take a bow Hollywood because the casting of Steve Coogan in the role of the titular DJ is absolutely inspired.
Onscreen for pretty much every minute of the running time (a welcome 90 minutes), Partridge the man delivers, and more. Whether it’s his subtle facial ticks such as licking his lips or a raised eyebrow, or speaking before he thinks, the film will have you belly-laughing from start to finish. Back of the net!
Aside from a brief lull towards the end, the low-budget action film is expertly handled by the brilliantly-bequiffed Irish director Declan Lowney (you can read JOE’s interview with him here), a considerable achievement considering just how much of a nightmare Alan must be to work with.
The film’s real highlight though is the absolutely perfectly executed script ensuring that Alpha Papa, like the excellent television series before it, is destined to be endlessly quoted and undoubtedly requires multiple viewings. JOE for one cannot wait to go and see it again – mainly to see those jokes we missed first time round due to laughing at the previous ones so much.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is liquid film folks, go and see it.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is in cinemas now.