You could say this film was 20 years in the making. Well, you could say almost anything really, but whether or not it would be pertinent to this review is another thing entirely. Anyhoo, Steve Coogan’s longest-running character has successfully covered all manner of media and it was only a matter of time before he made the jump to film. One of the genius aspects of Alan Partridge is the development of his story that one can follow in real time over the course of the various TV shows (and now this film) that chronicle his journey as an entertainment personality and private life.
I suspect that to fully appreciate this film, one really needs to know a little about this history so here’s a quick re-cap;
Alan’s done it all. Starting his career as a DJ, he made the transition from radio to television rather awkwardly as a sports reporter and ended up being given the opportunity to present his own variety show Knowing Me, Knowing You. This ended unfortunately when he accidentally shot one of his guests and was taken off the air. It took a while for him to recover from this career death but eventually got back in the saddle and resumed his career as a DJ with a local radio station. Here he’s found his comfort zone but he desperately wants that slice of fame pie and to get back to where he was before all the unpleasantness.
The film picks up at Norfolk North Digital (the station which Partridge has now been a longstanding personality) and it’s the changing of the guard. A larger radio company has adsorbed the station and has designs to reinvent the format with an all-new batch of young presenters and music – part of this change involves putting the old stock out to pasture and it’s down to two options; fire Partridge or his friend and peer Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney). When Partridge gets wind of this, he gets all Brutus and stabs his old friend in the back by promoting his dismissal.
Pat is not happy with this decision and comes back the next day with a shotgun and takes the station and its crew hostage. From there, as Farrell’s oldest and most trusted friend, the police recruit Partridge to be hostage negotiator.
From there the film unfolds into farce territory with great helpings of ridiculous situations that could have been avoided if Partridge wasn’t such a twat.
It’s great to see the old crew of Michael, Lyn, Sidekick Simon and others all back together again and this is a worthy addition to the Alan Partridge saga.As a film on its own, it should hold up but to be honest, I can’t actually tell. There were many laugh-out-loud moments for me but my subjective point of view of it being the next chapter in a canon alters my ability to gauge that. It’s probably not for everyone but fuck it, sometimes it’s not about everyone.