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This review is from: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa [DVD] (DVD)
Alan Partridge is one of the most quotable characters to have been on TV in the past 20 years, but he is not for everyone. Bearing in mind that `Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa' is a film about the character written by Steve Coogan et al. it would be hoped that those watching it would already be familiar with the characters and is oeuvre. This is exactly how I came to watch the film; as a fan of the man, the legend, the jumpers.
In recent years Alan has fallen slightly lower on the celebrity pecking order and is now working at North Norfolk Digital radio station. When the station is taken over by a larger company, not everyone is happy, especially Pat Farrell who is soon let go. Not one to give up easily, Farrell holds the staff of NND hostage and Alan is made to act as his spokesman - what could possibly go wrong?
`Alpha Papa' is classic Alan Partridge. This means that not only is it amongst some of the best work the character has been in, but very much in the same vein. It is true that there are slight diminishing returns from the character and although the film never hits the heady heights of `Knowing Me, Knowing You' and `I'm Alan Partridge' it is still one of the funniest films to have come out in 2013. A comedy film should be funny and this is exactly what `Alpha Papa' achieves. Coogan was at the forefront of a drier sense of, almost kitchen sink, style comedy in the 90s and 2000s, but unlike the too cool `Sightseers', Coogan et al do not forget to put in some jokes.
There is enough comedy on show to entertain both fans of the characters and non-fans. The setup is a cheesy hostage movie, but this acts as a great structure for non-Alan fans to join in. Even with the simplified structure, it is those people who have enjoyed watching Norwich's favourite son over the years who will gain the most from the film. Coogan is excellent and the supporting cast also add plenty. It is good to see a film that has old fashioned farce, but also intelligent writing.