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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Steve Coogan
Colm Meaney
Felicity Montagu
Tim Key
Nigel Lindsay.
Directors
Declan Lowney.
Screenwriters
Peter Baynham
Steve Coogan
Armando Iannucci
Neil Gibbons
Rob Gibbons.
Running Time
90 minutes

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Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
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Plot
Change is afoot at North Norfolk Digital. Under the ownership of Gordale Media, it’s about to transform into a newer, sleeker station — one which has no room for a country-and-western playing throwback like Pat Farrell (Meaney), who is promptly sacked. When a dangerously distraught, shotgun-wielding Pat holds the staff hostage, only one man can help save the day (and maybe also his career): the host of Mid-Morning Matters, Alan Partridge (Coogan).


Review
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
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A Brief History Of Alan: radio/TV sports-desk reporter; BBC chat show host; DJ on Radio Norwich; ‘star’ of webcam ‘broad’casts during his Mid-Morning Matters show on North Norfolk Digital. The dominant dynamic in 21 years of Partridge has been contraction. Since his chat-show heyday, his frame has always shrunk. And yet here he is at the (air-quote) multiplex (close air-quote), on some of the very same screens that once hosted Inception — and perhaps, in a few rare cases, even The Spy Who Loved Me.

Alan is not a character who naturally suggests himself as filmic (although there is a tinge of Mike Leigh). His move to the big screen, complete with gun-toting action (so to speak), could almost be seen as a betrayal of his Alanic essence: a bit naff, congenitally petty, utterly mundane. This is a man who, for a romatic tryst, once took his just-fired receptionst (he hadn’t told her yet) to an owl sanctuary. Yet, in a genre that’s bottlenecking with post-frat try-hard lewd-outs and twisting itself in knots trying to do something interesting with the rom-com, Alpha Papa feels fundamentally fresh.

On the march to expand Alan’s territory, there have been some mis-steps — the pants-down and shit-in-a-lunchbox gags belong in an American Pie movie. But these are minor stumbles. For the most part, Alpha Papa is caffeinated hilarity, offering a wealth of eminently repeatable punchlines (“Jislam”, “jingle genocide”, “Yes, that is my damn todger”), strong foil-work from the stalwart Colm Meaney, and welcome returns by Alan’s harried PA Lynn (Felicity Montagu), one-time on-air rival DJ Dave Clifton (Phil Cornwell) and his simpleton only-friend Michael (Simon Greenall).

Most significantly, it provides a masterclass in physical character comedy courtesy of the Alan himself: Steve Coogan. Every perfectly judged little awkward facial tic, every precisely delivered wallyish gaffe, every knocked-out-the-park moment of misplaced exasperation at the muddling of Middle England will earn the film the multiple viewings it so deserves. Turns out the big screen needed more naffness, pettiness and mundanity. Not to mention virtuoso Roachford mime-alongs. Kiss his face.


Verdict
Ruddy hilarious. Just what big-screen comedy needed.


Reviewed by Dan Jolin

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Empire Star Rating

It's good

Tv movie spin-offs rarely work. They tend to feel like a half hour show stretched out to 2 hours, generally involving the main protagonist(s) going abroad and/or swearing a lot more than on tv( although admittedly the Inbetweeners movie did both and still managed to be funny) Alpha Papa doesn't fall into either of these traps. It's still reassuringly Norfolk-based ( and watching it at a Norwich cinema was an odd sensation, knowing that it was filmed literally right outside) and doesn't outstay ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mjj at 14:18, 27 August 2013 | Report This Post


Alpha Papa

Alan Partridge's big screen outing has been called too idealistic and positive for the character but I say that is rubbish because this is just as tinged with an impending balls up as all Alan's other exploits. This film is masterful in balancing fan-base gratification with newbie appeal. The script is not only laugh-a-minute but laugh-a-10-second. There are quotes aplenty and some brilliant comic set--pieces, the decision to keep the plot's ambitiousness local was a keen move by the filmmakers.... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JJB888 at 00:49, 23 August 2013 | Report This Post


Never gunna use em...never gunna use em

I was really nervous when I heard they were finally making the Alan Partridge film; sitcom to big screen rarely works. I am so chuffed that I laughed all the way through. Taking Alan out of the normal, everyday stuff he usually gets up to is a bit of a gamble, especially as it's noted in a post above me that Alan's recent outings have been more and more realistic. Alpha Papa is a farce, but that's no bad thing. Amidst all the recent nasty comedies Alpha Papa feels like http://www.youtub... More

Posted by Lazy wolf eyes at 19:02, 14 August 2013 | Report This Post


okay

Okay but no more than that. The best was in the preview clips and while it had it's moments, it struggled to get above 'not bad'. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bretty at 21:49, 12 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Cash back!!

'Like Bin Laden.' I honestly can't remember how the film ended I was laughing so hard at that line. ... More

Posted by jcthefirst at 13:14, 12 August 2013 | Report This Post


Cash back!!

Loved Alan since his radio days, loved everything he's done in fact, so was worried if his feature film would be up to scratch. And I'm delighted to report it is. It's a brilliant outing for one of, if not the, best comic characters ever. And now question of the day. The old guy on the pier at the end. He sounded familiar but no mention of him on IMDB. Think he's an old British sitcom actor. NND key fob for first right answer. Now there's no need to panic, here's China Crisis. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by seagull at 13:00, 10 August 2013 | Report This Post


In a league of its own

For sheer "keep you laughing all the way through" this is the best film I've seen in a very long time. Such a relief after the hugely disappointing The World's End. This seres only to cement Coogan's stature as a comedy genius. I like the way the character of Alan has evolved. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sunflies at 10:54, 10 August 2013 | Report This Post


Comedy Gold FM!!!!!

There is no denying that Though I knew the character I never really watched the BBC series but did like Norfolk's No. 1 DJ so when the film got announce I was excited but at the same time a little worried as it had been about 2 decades since the series ended so was there a need for this now and would anyone be bothered to go see it. That said the build up and publicity was done fantastic and with great reviews everywhere I can say my anticipation was high and I was by no means disappointed in t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by retranimator at 12:07, 09 August 2013 | Report This Post


And all without a single 'ah-haah!'

'Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa' is very funny, even if it does nothing new. Because of this, if you're not already a fan of Norwich's premier D-Jock, there's little for you here. On its own terms it succeeds marvellously, and those are the only terms it's playing on. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 20:00, 08 August 2013 | Report This Post


It's funny, but not ruddy funny. There are plenty of good bits, but it doesn't work quite as well as the TV show, and there's not enough Michael. "Ooh look at that, stoofed croost!" ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Whistler at 16:52, 08 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

I chuckled the whole way through it and can say that I enjoyed it.  But still, it's slightly disappointing as a more cosmetic, diluted character of Alan.  Hostage crisis aside you could imagine this incarnation of Alan stumbling through life in a largely benign and semi-successful fashion...which isn't really the essence of the character.  Here, Alan's worst flaw seems to be that he's merely uncool or hapless. Also with Phil Cornwell reprising his collegiate r... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by demoncleaner at 11:30, 08 August 2013 | Report This Post


fantastic film. couldn't stop laughing. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Moviegeek1976 at 09:12, 08 August 2013 | Report This Post


fantastic film. couldn't stop laughing. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Moviegeek1976 at 09:12, 08 August 2013 | Report This Post


It's ok.

It's ok. Funny in parts, but I'm not so sure Partridge belongs on the big screen. It's an altogether different mode. Why didn't they just put this out as a TV special? My problem is that with Mid Morning Matters and the biography, they shifted Partridge into reality, whereas this pulls the character back into cartoon farce. If you're a fan, there's much to enjoy (as I did), but don't expect anything unmissable. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jrewing1000 at 17:43, 07 August 2013 | Report This Post


Bit of a rip off...

All well and good reviving a long lost show of average. But to then blatantly rip off aspects of Airheads. Sacrilege. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by turkish_187 at 07:11, 29 July 2013 | Report This Post


Bit of a rip off...

All well and good reviving a long lost show of average. But to then blatantly rip off aspects of Airheads. Sacrilege. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by turkish_187 at 07:11, 29 July 2013 | Report This Post


Bit of a rip off...

All well and good reviving a long lost show of average. But to then blatantly rip off aspects of Airheads. Sacrilege. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by turkish_187 at 07:10, 29 July 2013 | Report This Post


Alan Partridge is Siege Face

This is the film I have been looking forward to more than any other in 2013. I am expecting nothing short of brilliance! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JJB888 at 00:45, 27 July 2013 | Report This Post


Back of the net!

So glad to see this get a good review. Flippin love Partridg and was worried it wouldnt translate to the big screen well. ... More

Posted by shool at 16:29, 26 July 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Smell my cheese you Mutha !!!

I popped to the Norwich premier (which was not too far from where I work) and saw the great man himself. I believe this may be on my to watch list. ... More

Posted by sanchia at 13:50, 26 July 2013 | Report This Post


Smell my cheese you Mutha !!!

I was worried that a big screen version of a small screen legend would dilute Partridge, but early reviews are beginning to fill me with hope.Will have a shower before and preferably after as i expect to get clammy........with laughter ! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tangerinedreams at 13:31, 26 July 2013 | Report This Post


(so) (many) (brackets)

Can't wait for this though! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by loafroaster at 12:56, 26 July 2013 | Report This Post


"clangalangalang clangalagalang....

Nobody does it better!" Cannot wait for this ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fac51thehacienda at 12:24, 26 July 2013 | Report This Post


Can I shock you...

I like wine. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by pete_traynor at 10:59, 26 July 2013 | Report This Post


Can I shock you...

I like wine. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by pete_traynor at 10:59, 26 July 2013 | Report This Post


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