Never having followed the exploits of East Anglian local radio DJ and all-round narcissist Alan Partridge, but having gained the impression that the character was best left in the past, I approached this movie with fairly low expectations. Happily these were confounded, as the film’s razor-sharp wit, snappy dialogue, and larger-than-life characters were hugely entertaining from start to finish.
Facing being replaced with stereotypical yoof presenters, and deemed surplus to requirements by soulless new management, Alan is quick to dodge the bullet by cravenly putting the spotlight on friend and fellow presenter Pat Farrell, who is subsequently fired by the station. Congratulating himself on his quick thinking, Alan has reckoned without the vengeful Pat, who returns to the station with a shotgun, taking control and holding Alan and others (including the new manager) hostage. Cue Alan’s ineffectual attempts to talk Pat down, as the increasingly deranged former presenter proceeds to broadcast his old show once more, with Alan and the latter’s own co-presenter Sidekick Simon joining him in an uneasy alliance.
Alongside Steve Coogan as Partridge, Colm Meaney plays Pat, Tim Key is Sidekick Simon, and impressionist Phil Cornwell appears as a rival DJ. The cast is what really makes this, however a combination of clever verbal references, sight gags, slapstick and general buffoonery from the lecherous Partidge, make up what is a thoroughly engaging and riotous 90 minutes.