Saturday, March 1, 2014

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Declan Lowney, 2013) Review

It's sad to admit but it has become apparent that the British film industry has struggled a bit in recent years with only the likes of The World's End receiving recognition. Now we're forced to spew out tripe like Keith Lemon: The Movie but maybe there is hope in the form of classic British television icon Alan Partridge. While Keith Lemon was never funny to begin with, Alan Partridge is already funny so how would Partridge transfer to the big screen having already proved his comedic worth? Let's find out.

North Norfolk Digital radio is being taken over by a mainstream company who are bringing in fresh talent and sacking the old ones. Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) manages to save his job at the expense of his co-worker Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney). In response to this, Pat takes the radio station over with a shotgun and keeps everyone as hostages. Alan escapes but is sent back in anyway by the police as he is the only person Pat trusts. Alan must now appease Pat's demands while working with the police and also trying to stay alive against the gun-toting maniac.

While films like The World's End and About Time can appeal to both American and British audiences, this one is primarily British. From the argument about the pronunciation of the letter 'H' to the jab at modern radio, it becomes scarily relatable for anyone in England. Also something to note is that the humour is supposed to be laugh out loud comedy. This film won't have you in tears but that's because of the unique style of humour that will have you snickering instead. I will admit that the show is significantly funnier but there are still plenty of jokes that got me so it does succeed.

The format surprisingly differs from the show. What made the show hilarious was the interactions between Alan and the supporting characters. Here, the film dives more into developing Alan as a character and the engagement comes from seeing how Alan deals with the circumstances. Steve Coogan slips back into the role easily, it's like he never left (although...I don't think he ever did...) and I'm surprised how well the supporting actors do. Colm Meaney does an especially good job and is probably the best actor in the film.

Taking on a unique style of comedy, I am glad I did watch Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. It isn't out to raise the bar or tell a life changing story, it's simply out to entertain. The character of Alan is retained well by Steve Coogan's performance alongside a strong supporting cast as the film nails traditional English living. It may not be as accessible as The World's End but is still worth a watch if you're familiar with Alan Partridge.

Does a good job of providing entertainment with strong acting, a unique sense of humour and making a strangely relatable setting.

And, no, I have no idea what the hell the title means...that sort of sets the tone, really

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