Sunday, 18 August 2013

Alpha Papa - Review

Directed by: Declan Lowney
Starring: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Sean Pertwee, Felicity Montagu
Written by: Peter Baynham, Steve Coogan, Neil Gibbson, Rob Gibbons, Armando Iannucci

Rating: 7/10

Alan Patridge: Alpha-Papa plays like a ‘best of’ collection for the eponymous DJ’s greatest hits, unsurprisingly. Coogan reprises one of his most well known and recurring roles as the Norwich born, unscrupulous and selfish broadcaster, Alan Partridge. The film, much like the siege in which he is involved, completely sidelines almost everything from plot, to supporting cast – making him the unequivocal star.

That’s not terrible, by any stretch of the imagination.

Coogan delivers his usual brand of wit that will undoubtedly have those familiar with the character in stitches. It’s a film that trundles along, while combining several films – but you don’t go to watch this film for the narrative or the brilliant cinematography. It is definitely the prototypical ‘star vehicle’.

The jokes keep on coming, and as ever they are funny, engaging and durable.

The story follows Alan at North Norfolk Digital just as it is about to be taken over a corporation intent on making profit. The ideal stereotypes of corporate are played into, but never fully explored – they’re just used as a backdrop to set the siege up. Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) is at a crossroads – he has the graveyard shift on the radio and his job security isn’t too great. As fans will know from the trailer, he’s let go – after which, in revenge, he decides to take over the building and hold it hostage.

That and carry on broadcasting during the siege.

Oh, and make informative jingles.
Pat asks Alan, a man and friend that he trusts, to be his go between initially between him and corporate, then between him and the police/public. It doesn’t go well, initially, as Alan proves that he may not have Pat’s best interests at heart – trying to exploit everyone around him at every turn.
Sure, not every joke is brilliant (some feel like forced gags – watch out for the lunchbox, for one), but Coogan still delivers a solid performance as Alan. He gets the guilty laughs, the pleading laughs and the ones in between – Colm’s Pat gets our love and understanding. The films thematic overtures and motifs feel eerily similar to other resistance based films – those that fight the big and scary monster that is corporate.

The banter passed back and forth is finely crafted, and the leads alongside Coogan are on fine form. Alan’s character proves himself inept and incompetent at all the right moments to make this a fun film to watch.

What the Mr. Thought:
I'll keep it simple - entertaining, light, funny and a great way to spend 90 minutes. Go see it.

What the Misses Thought:

Living in Norfolk made this film just a little bit more special for me! Hilarious, ridiculous and just good old fun, Alpha Papa is a must watch if you want a good laugh.
The comedy was spot on, as was the story. Simple and funny, and just the film the Mr and I needed to see after our holiday, to jump us straight back into our love of films

But remember, you didn't hear any of that from us,

The Mr. and the Misses

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