In Alpha Papa, Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci bring us a very amusing big-screen outing of Alan Partridge. From his regional talk show through the drama of a hostage situation we see the character's full range with plenty of opportunity for slapstick and farce.
The character of Partridge is here in full from the beginning, with his clear mannerisms, an insistence on correctness, selfishness and awkward sentences he gets tied up in. He is both cowardly but also manages over-confidence when he sees a way to turn the media attention into a career boost.
Supporting Coogan are a couple of recurring characters, his Geordie friend Michael (Simon Greenall) and assistant Lynn (Felicity Montagu) as well as Sidekick Simon (Tim Key) who spends a lot of time bound in duct tape. Colm Meaney makes for an excellent disgruntled DJ, Pat Farrell, with a mix of amiable, menacing and unstable moments when waving a shotgun around.
The film has a running time of about 1:25 hours and it flew by, with jokes and laughs occurring regularly. It is very British in its themes and handling with a mix of subtle humour and more physical comedy. The radio station theme is perfectly integrated into the story for Partridge as the lines between DJ and hostage negotiator are blurred and the show keeps broadcasting. While jingles provide the perfect scene transition, the characters react to an extraordinary event, in a rather mundane world.
If you like a good comedy, this one won't disappoint.