Rating : ****
My generation grew up with Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan’s fictional presenter. You tended to find at school you either fell into the Partridge group or the Ali G group.
I could hardly believe there was going to be a Alan Partridge movie when it was announced and managed to miss out on seeing it in the cinema. I finally sat down to watch it hoping that it was going to be everything I wanted a Alan Partridge movie to be…
As the poster said “12 Hostages, 24 hours, 1 Partridge….”
First off why I was worried that I was going to dislike it is because as much as I like Sacha Baron Cohen and his personalities (Ali G, Borat and the like) I have never really gotten on with his movies. I don’t know what it is about them but they felt like too much all the time and sometimes felt like they abandoned a little of their original humour to make them more accessible outside of the United Kingdom.
Of course that is just my personal opinion, I still rate them quite highly I just felt a little deflated after seeing them.
I have always been a Coogan fan though. Everything he’s done I’ve enjoyed watching and Alan Partridge is at the top of that list. So I went into this hoping for the best but ready to be disappointed.
You couldn’t have asked for a better Alan Partridge movie! After getting Pat Farrell fired from North Norfolk Digital after their take over from a multinational conglomerate in true Partridge style we then get to see him try and regain some of his former glory by turning Farrell’s siege of the radio station into the Partridge show.
Through the whole movie you slowly start to feel sorry for Colm Meaney’s character Pat whilst being reminded at every stage that the only thing that Partridge cares about is himself. As always he’s completely blind to just how much of a monster he actually can be, never telling Pat that it was in fact him that got him fired (Pat found out nearer the end which led to quite the funny stand off on a pier) whilst being just as nasty to Felicity Montagu’s Lynn Benfield (Partridges personal assistant) as he ever was.
If you are looking for laugh out loud funny you aren’t going to find it here but there are some really genius moments in there and the whole film is just silly. The whole siege ends up being broadcast over the radio, the people that are being held hostage just seem to fall into line and the cops are all willfully incapable of doing anything.
I really enjoyed it. It was tongue in cheek, had a great cast and some really memorable moments.
You genuinely started to feel sorry for Pat who had lost his wife and felt like he had nothing, you couldn’t take your eyes off the screen for fear that you’d miss Partridge doing something stupid, you really felt angry at him for upsetting Lynn who does nothing but dote over Partridge but at the same time you are on the edge of your seat because it still is a siege even if you knew that nothing really bad was going to happen.
A good 60% of the characters were horrible but that just made it funnier. Sidekick Simon was back with many more unfunny jokes (Tim Key was brilliant) which made genuine funny moments or dramatic moments even just that more wonderful. You could never in your life predict what was going to happen next and the end was kind of bittersweet depending on which side you stood on.
For me seeing Pat imprisoned and slowly forgotten about whilst Partridge was given the breakfast show and had his Land Rover with a speed boat and a family of sorts was both funny and sad at the same time. Because lets face it Partridge didn’t deserve much and Pat was a sympathetic character.
I’m happy I ended up seeing it as it was a gem of a film.
Not only that but to see Sean Pertwee running around being a police officer was enough to make my knees go weak!