I've a confession to make. I didn't like Season 2 of I'm Alan Partridge at all. Whaaaat? Shock. Horror. Gasp. Uncool. Up until then, the man was a hoot: Knowing Me, Knowing you and the first season of I'm Alan Partridge were excellent but by the latter season Coogan, together with writers Armando Iannucci and Peter Baynham, had lost their mojo. Mid Morning Matters suggested that the DJ still has an audience, but a feature film? Hmm...
lan Partridge (Coogan) is burrowing away at North Norfolk Digital Radio, which has just been bought by Shape, a soulless conglomerate looking to inject the sleepy schedule with new and hip young things. The first to go is Colm Meaney and his late night show and he doesn't take the news well. During a company party, he marches into the station with a shotgun and takes various DJs and bosses hostage. Because Alan is friendly with Meaney, the police ask him to be a liaison and negotiator, but he sees this as a way to cement his job with Shape and maybe even land the breakfast show...
n The Loop and The Inbetweeners Movie proved that a British series could work on the big screen and, while Alpha Papa is unable to disguise its obvious budget constraints (the vast majority of the scenes take place in the DJ booth and surrounding rooms), the latest offering from Partridge has just enough to get it over the finishing line. In contrast to the majority of studio comedies, Alpha Papa busts a gut to make you laugh but the caveat to that is you have to be on board with Partridge in the first place; there is absolutely nothing here to convince you otherwise if you are already a naysayer.
Not everything works; as expected, the story can be stretched here and there, and Meaney is too restrained for his own good (is no one else allowed to be funny, Steve?) but there are enough cringey one-liners from Partridge to smooth out the bumpy bits, and the movie gets out of there before it outstays its welcome. Partridge fans will love it.
nd here's another confession: I would love a compilation tape of Alan's favourite songs. How uncool is that?