Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, 2013.
Directed by Declan Lowney.
Starring Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Sean Pertwee, Anna Maxwell Martin, Nigel Lindsay, Felicity Montagu, Simon Greenall and Phil Cornwell.
When Alan’s radio station, North Norfolk Digital, is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion a chain of events which see Alan having to work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege.
I loved Alpha Papa, Alan Partridge’s first foray to the big screen because he’s been the inspiration for my sense of humour since the mid 1990s and this film was one I had anticipated for many, many years. The film didn’t disappoint, and I cannot recommend it enough to not only fans of Alan, but British comedy, too. This is as good as it gets.
I’ve often wondered what Alan himself might say, if he were asked to write a review of his own feature film. Maybe it would sound something like this…?
The Godfather. Gone With The Wind. Casablanca. Psycho (both 1960 and the 1998 remake). The Spy Who Loved Me and the lion’s share of Moonraker. Now add to that list Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
Just to make things totally clear, the list of films above are universally considered (to people in the industry, like me, or just any non-idiot) to be some of the greatest films ever put to… film. And now, without any fear of delusions of grandeur or any hints of shameless self promotion, I (as an aforementioned non-idiot) am adding Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa to that glorious list. If anything, it’s probably the best on that list and I can’t think of a reason as I write this why anyone (or at least any non-idiot) would disagree.
Let me grab you by the proverbial short and curlies (or ‘public hair’ for the uneducated) by telling you it’s got the three key ingredients we all look for from a Hollywood/North Norfolk epic; namely sex, violence, rock ‘n’ roll… and ME! OK, technically that’s four things but I like to think I combine the three; I play classic rock on my radio station, with a diverse selection of everything ranging from Sting to The Police; I’m not so much violent as I am deadly when provoked (just ask that badger who came sniffing around a tent I was sharing with my now-divorced wife Carol in Clippesby during a barmy summer night in 1980 or 1981, I forget which); and I’m ruddy sexy, evidence by the fact that I once had a girlfriend who was 14 years younger than me and would often ‘go south’ on a moment’s notice.
The film is directed by an Oirish cheeky chappy called Declan Lowrey who, and I’m sure won’t mind me saying this, has never directed anything resembling a film of this quality, scale, or artist importance. He does a cracking job even though, as I just said, he’d done bugger all you’d have seen before. The film doesn’t let up for a moment and I, along with some familiar faces (but not as important faces, read the title again if you need reminding) will quite literally make you choke on your over-priced and over-salted popcorn, pick and mix, or nachos covered in that cheese from one of those pumps. Actually, if you’re reading this and you’ve yet to see the film:
- – What the bloody hell was so important you couldn’t have seen it by now?
- – Don’t get those nachos at the cinema. They stink, they’re noisy, and they make you look like a complete and utter dick to your fellow cinephiles. Are you really that hungry that you’d humiliate yourself in public like that? Please, leave that sort of behaviour at home or at the opera.
- – I want to clarify that you’ll choke on your popcorn due to laughing so ruddy much. I wasn’t suggesting I or any of the cast would actually choke you. Well, maybe Michael would but he’s a Geordie so you’d expect it.
If you’re familiar with my catchphrases then I guarantee* you’ll love some of the new ones we’ve come up with in this, my first major motion picture. I won’t recite them all here because I want them to be a surprise and because, unlike the spotty teen working at Blockbuster Video (that’s like a brick and mortar NetFlix to anyone under 20) in the summer of 2000 who point-blank ruined the ending of The Sixth Sense for me thinking I was returning – not renting – the tape, I am not a total waste of space, time, and semen.
So get your arses (or ‘asses’ if you’re reading this Stateside) down to your local cinema, make sure you’ve eaten a decent meal beforehand to reduce the need to buy crap, turn off your mobile phone (cell phone if you’re reading this Stateside), tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Gameboy, or pager, shut up (although audible laughing is acceptable on this occasion) and enjoy the film.
*For legal reasons and past experiences of varying financial implications, I cannot guarantee this.
So there you have it, my interpretation of Alan’s verdict on his own film and I must say, I do agree with him.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★ ★
Rohan Morbey – follow me on Twitter.