Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Film, Comedy
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(10user reviews)
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

If you had sky-high hopes for Alan Partridge’s big-screen outing, now’s the time to moderate them: ‘Alpha Papa’ is a film that rewards low expectations. If you’re looking for a few Friday night laughs, this’ll do fine. Steve Coogan is as slimily watchable as ever, the script has its fair share of zingers and it all moves along at a steady pace. But if you wanted something more – depth, excitement, maybe even originality – you may want to try your luck elsewhere.

We find Alan happily nestled in his online radio job at North Norfolk Digital, unruffled by an impending corporate takeover, his dreams of light-entertainment superstardom long since left behind. But when a sacked fellow DJ (Colm Meaney) comes back for revenge, Alan finds himself in a hostage situation – and he’s the only one who can talk the madman down.

‘Alpha Papa’ starts well – the opening credits sequence is a cracker – then proceeds to trundle slowly but inexorably downhill, exchanging gloriously awkward DJ banter (‘that was soft-rock cocaine enthusiasts Fleetwood Mac...’) for lame slapstick sequences in which Alan accidentally flashes his bum at the paparazzi. Perhaps it’s down to the film’s tight production schedule – it only started shooting in January this year – but the final act feels rushed and underwhelming, tying up the loose ends with a ‘will this do?’ shrug.

Coogan and his co-writers must be commended for refusing to take the obvious route and deliver a big, brassy US-friendly blockbuster. But they may have erred a little too far in the other direction: where ‘Alpha Papa’ should be old-fashioned and intimate, it instead feels cheap and a little drab. The film has plenty to recommend it, thanks to a string of memorable one-liners and Coogan’s unmatched knack for skin-crawling physical comedy. But this is a long way from the back-of-the-net strike it should have been.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday August 9 2013
Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Declan Lownhey
Screenwriter: Steve Coogan, Peter Baynham
Cast: Steve Coogan
Sean Pertwee
Colm Meaney

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:5
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I find it interesting that viewers expectations of this film are somehow measured against an earth-shattering noir thriller or a world cinema classic. Its a feature length comedy about a banal middle Englander and a very amusing one at that. Great comedy timing, well paced and some of the truly cringeable humour Alan is best known for. When compared with the trailer for Richard Curtis' new piffle, "About Time' (an obvious Groundhog Day rip off with a younger, more ginger Hugh Grant-a-like as the lead) this plays out like high art! Any chance somebody could please pay Richard Curtis and his terrible production company to stop making unbearable tosh that is the embarrassment of British cinema.

A charming, if not a classic, comedy. Does not have a strong story at all. Having said that, some of the lines are very funny indeed. Agree with the reviewer that there could have been more to the film. But a very acceptable comedy, with some very good moments.

I offered a review on Saturday that hasn't been published and I have had no reason for this given to me. Its a stretched one hour Christmas special that if it was shown prime time over the holiday period would be viewed as disappointing. Some amusing points but not enough to make a good film. 2 stars for my last review on Time Out.

A big, fat slice of classic Alan. I was so relieved the writers didn't mess this up. Unusually, the trailer doesn't really do the film justice. And no, it's not cinematic as the below commenter says - but miss it on the big screen and you WILL lose out on being in a room surrounded by Partridge enthusiasts, all belly laughing along to his daft antics. Go see. Dave Clifton's in it.

Runs pretty much like a longer version of a Partridge tv episode. It isn`t cinematic at all and will lose nothing being viewed on a smaller screen. Lots of giggles and very enjoyable. Three and a half stars.

Alpha Papa doesn't entail the reader being wowed by a master-class plot and some of the lesser characters were slightly wooden however, Coogan's film does what it sets out to do, make you laugh. I found myself chuckling throughout the film, sometimes rather loudly, at Coogans antics and therefore, I can safely say I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Alpha papa is a perfect film to settle down to after a strenuous week of work and just enjoy.

Coogan is good and watchable, but this is an average made for tv movie. As is so often is the case, the best bits are in the trailers. There are some good jokes, so as TO suggests, temper expectations and it is ok. Though frankly, I'd wait till it is on tv next year.

Not so much back of the net as a hideous slice that ends up closer to the corner flag than the goal The review has the film pretty much nailed. It isn't very funny and relies too much on old fashioned knob gags and that sort of humour that you thought died out with the Carry on Films. Its a bit long and apart from the excellent Rochford sing and dance along in the car at the beginning it never really gets going and you feel that yet again lottery money has been wasted supporting what is a bit of an ego fest for Coogan and his mates. Just about OK 2 stars.

Dear oh dear. Has the Time Out Reviewer missed out on all the truly crap comedies I have had to sit through in the vain expectation of one decent laugh? No, Alpha Papa is not perfect, but I was laughing through most of it, and sometimes laughing very loudly, because sometimes it was very funny. Odds are against an another equally funny film coming out this year.