In Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, comedian/actor Steve Coogan unleashes his beloved brand of British buffoonery (alliteration much) to the big screen with remarkable ease and great comedic success. Even with zero prior knowledge of the BBC character’s 20-year history, Coogan’s rubber faced idiocy and affable nature are sure to win over audiences in a heartbeat. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is a welcomed import of British tomfoolery delivering bucket loads of cringe-worthy cheekiness, hilarity and loveable charm. Therefore making it infinitely better than anything Adam Sandler has attached his name to in years.
Quick-witted Radio deejay Alan is uneasy about the corporate changes and rebranding taking place in his quaint North Norfolk Digital radio station. When faced with the prospect of being downsized himself, Alan quickly turns on his own mate, Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney), getting the only other long-toothed veteran fired in his stead. A dejected and downtrodden Pat reacts poorly to his sudden redundancy and decides to take the entire Radio station hostage as his payback.
Always the opportunist, the self-obsessed Partridge, seeking the media relevance and national attention he so covets, thrusts himself deeper into the fray by becoming the world’s worst siege negotiator.
Coogan obviously relishes every moment as this absurd loser of a character. Screenwriters Neil and Rob Gibbons force Coogan into a relentless Ferris wheel of escalating awkward situations, giving the comic genius plenty of space to blunder his way in and out of trouble. What’s more – Partridge isn’t a complete idiot either. His cheeky and observant take on life ensures copious amounts of sharp-tongued and oft-hilarious banter throughout. Yet the film is at its ruddy best when Partridge continually shoves both of his feet square into his own mouth.
With most comedies, the laughter subsides as the narrative stakes escalate towards the film’s climax, but not before Coogan manages a few more side splitting gags just before the resolution is met.
Coogan’s Partridge is an endearing mess of a human being. Representing the very worst of humanity, but with just enough heart to make it easy to love the stupid fool, regardless of his hilarious faults.
If zany British Python-esque comedies are your thing, then Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa has been lovingly crafted just for you.