Movie adaptations of TV shows rarely work. Often extended cinematic re-imaginings fail to grasp the essence of what made them so popular. The British, however, have a good strike ratio with many small-to-big-screen leaps becoming big hits. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa should please fans. Anchored by a strong, but not overly long story, the character’s journey to filmic frolics is one of consistent hilarity.
Famous DJ Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) is a man of the people. Always fighting justice and providing empathy, he is a modest person. At least that’s what he likes to believe. The reality is very different especially when his radio station is taken over by a corporate giant. A series of events finds Alan in the midst of a siege where his true personality surfaces for all to see.
Steve Coogan makes the most in transporting his famous character to screens. Generally moving along at a good pace, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa enjoys skewering instant fame and idolatry. The banality of commercial radio comes in for particular scorn as does the greed in profiteering from bad situations. Front and centre is Partridge whose cowardly opportunism knows no bounds, providing many laughs.
Some of the antics are very silly and conjure the ghost of the Carry On films. It’s a bit rude and crude but Coogan knows when to inject some wit enabling the film to rise above the norm. Fellow performers, including Colm Meaney and Sean Pertwee, enter the spirit with similar glee. None of it can be taken seriously and whilst occasionally the jokes fall flat there are others to replace it.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is fun with enough energy and spirit to make it consistently amusing. Long-term and new fans should enjoy the ridiculous scenarios with another big-screen outing potentially welcome.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7