Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa DVD

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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.

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Released
02 December 2013
Directors
Actors
Format
DVD 
Publisher
Studiocanal 
Classification
Runtime
88 minutes 
Features
PAL 
Barcode
5055201823007 
  • Average Rating for Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - 5 out of 5


    (based on 1 user reviews)
  • Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
    Dave Marshall

    In all honesty, this review doesn't need to be more than a single paragraph - because when it comes to comedy, the only question you really want answered is this: does it make you laugh? And for Alpha Papa - also known as the Alan Partridge movie - the answer is an emphatic "yes". A lot. And in a number of different ways.

    So you want more details? Well firstly, there's the sheer awkwardness that has always exuded from every pore of Alan Partridge. Whether it's the dated musical tastes, the naff dress sense or the trying-too-hard-to-be-cool turns of phrase that clang out of his mouth at every opportunity, Steve Coogan's masterpiece comic creation is now as comfortable as an old pair of shoes - and it's to the comedian's credit that he doesn't try and reinvent the character too severely for his big-screen outing. Yes, Alan looks a little younger and cooler here than he has in the past (I think it's the longer hair that does it), but that's in keeping with the midlife crisis that the character seems to be going through, as he experiences the endless downward trajectory of his once-promising broadcasting career.

    And that's where the second big group of laughs comes in - because the situation in which Alan finds himself in Alpha Papa is ripe for comedic exploitation. The DJ's radio station, North Norfolk Digital (a tiny parochial broadcaster with a miniscule audience), is about to be taken over by a larger conglomerate, Shape. So, in order to secure his job in the face of forthcoming redundancies, Alan is forced to sell out his workmates at the same time as he tries to smarm his way into the good graces of his new employer. Which, of course, backfires on him at every turn - especially when his former colleague Pat ends up taking everyone at the station hostage in revenge for getting fired.

    Raising the dramatic stakes in this fashion gives Coogan a chance to try out some broader, larger-scale comedy routines with the character, and thankfully they all work pretty well. The sheer ridiculousness of Alan Partridge as a hostage negotiator (attempting to emulate the bravado of Hollywood action movie stars, and falling well short) is enough to make the middle section of the film a pretty endless barrage of laughs, and this is only reinforced by a number of great slapstick setpieces that deliver some great mini-climaxes for the comedy every ten minutes or so (if you're not splitting your sides during the scene in which Alan gets his trousers caught on a window, or the section in which a bomb-disposal robot is called upon to dispose of the questionable contents of a tupperware container, then there must be something wrong with your funny bone).

    And on top of all this, there's a welcome return for many minor characters from previous Alan Partridge series, including his much-maligned PA, Lynne, the idiotic yet well-meaning Michael, and the burned-out has-been DJ Dave Clifden. Along with some extended cameos from some other pretty big names from the world of British comedy, this supporting cast helps to round out the cast nicely, giving the film the ability to vary its flavour a little (as I'm sure that 90 minutes of pure, undiluted Partridge would probably be too much for even the most devoted fans to take).

    Finally, there's a welcome reluctance on Coogan's part to fall back on old catchphrases as an easy way to win over his audience. Instead of having Partridge recycle the likes of "Jurassic Park", "Kiss My Face", and - yes - "Aha!" from the TV shows, this movie instead tries to break new ground with the character to generate the comedy - and for that, it's to be applauded.

    So in short, Alpha Papa is a very funny film with a great hit-to-miss gag ratio, that will make you laugh consistently from beginning to end. Can you ask for any more from a comedy?

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Steve Coogan's legendary chat show host and broadcaster finally receives the big screen treatment in this comedy directed by Declan Lowney. Occupying a career stasis-defining role as a mid-morning DJ on North Norfolk Digital Radio, Alan Partridge (Coogan)'s hopes for one last shot at the big time suffer a severe setback when it emerges that his employers have been taken over by a giant media conglomerate. Alan soon finds himself back in the spotlight, however, when newly-sacked fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) returns to the studio with a shotgun and begins taking hostages. Called in by the police to act as a hostage negotiator, can Britain's most famous Toblerone addict turn the tables and finally save the day?

Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Steve Coogan's legendary chat show host and broadcaster finally receives the big screen treatment in this comedy directed by Declan Lowney. Occupying a career stasis-defining role as a mid-morning DJ on North Norfolk Digital Radio, Alan Partridge (Coogan)'s hopes for one last shot at the big time suffer a severe setback when it emerges that his employers have been taken over by a giant media conglomerate. Alan soon finds himself back in the spotlight, however, when newly-sacked fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) returns to the studio with a shotgun and begins taking hostages. Called in by the police to act as a hostage negotiator, can Britain's most famous Toblerone addict turn the tables and finally save the day?

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