When first hearing that there would be a film featuring the beloved comedy creation, Alan Partridge – I’m sure many and myself included shuddered at that prospect. The character failing to jump the hurdle onto the big screen would have been painful, especially for the most hard-core of Partridge fans. Of course transitioning TV comedy characters into a feature-length format has always been very tricky, but it seems so very fitting that Alan Partridge has now finally made that jump into cinemas. He’s a character whose always desired being a part of the bigger picture, longing for national appreciation. It’s a suitable step forward for a character that has already conquered radio, television, literature and the stage. Coogan and Iannucci have cleverly remained patient before deciding to take the character onto that next step and I’m glad to say this is an Alan Partridge film which delivers the goods, and doesn’t stray too far away from what originally made Alan so painfully entertaining!
We open to Alan’s Norfolk based radio station going through a rebranding after being taken over by a multinational conglomerate and renamed a typically dull station name, Shape. As the new board begin deciding who they should let go, Alan manages to save his position in favour of another DJ, Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) who is promptly fired from his job at the station. Later that evening, a furious Pat storms into the building during a party and takes hostages. Typically Alan (Steve Coogan) is caught in the middle and ends up being a communicator between both Pat and the police, acting to try and secure the safety of the hostages, but also using this new-found limelight to his advantage in hope of resurrecting his television career.
Thankfully Alan has not lost any of his traits whilst transitioning onto film; his superficial, thick-skinned and awkward nature are still very much intact. His fashion sense is still five years behind everyone else and his one liners are abound throughout the film, coming in thick and fast. Steve Coogan still delivers the goods with his best comic creation; the characters Lynn Benfield and Michael the Geordie also return, whilst Alan’s Mid-Morning Matters co-host, Sidekick Simon is also in toe to deliver some absolute dingers. Even though the film goes bigger with the hostage situation plot, it never at any point feels like it isn’t Partridge anymore, this film isn’t going to be the black sheep of the Alan Partridge canon; it fits in nicely and is sure to entertain you for its ninety minute running time.
Of course, there are going to be people who have never liked Alan Partridge, and this film isn’t going to change your opinion of him. This is textbook Alan, you’re not going to get anything new with the character; he’s still the painfully awkward individual who first appeared on The Day Today over twenty years ago. As for people who aren’t familiar with Alan Partridge, this is a funny introduction to a character who despite being on our television sets for almost two decades has not outstayed his welcome or grown tiresome at all.
This is liquid comedy!
4 Stars ★★★★✰