Steve Coogan delivers one of his best screen performances in Alan Partridge, the long-rumored big-screen debut of the character who has been part of Coogan’s repertoire on TV and radio for years.
The film depicts Partridge as a radio host working for a company being bought out by an unfeeling corporation. When Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney), one of Alan’s radio co-workers, gets the boot, Pat comes back with a shotgun and takes everybody hostage. Alan winds up as an intermediary between the police and Pat; he’s trying to negotiate his a way out of a crisis and keep his job at the same time.
Coogan is always funny in this film. Sure, he got a lot of press for last year’s Philomena, and film-lovers dug him in 24 Hour Party People and Tropic Thunder, but this movie is a true showcase of his sharp comic talents. He has a way with smarmy afterthoughts that makes him the king of the understated wiseasses.
As somebody who has spent a lot of time in radio, I can say that this movie offers an accurate presentation of the industry, as did Howard Stern’s Private Parts. Private Parts was made before computers really took over, though—an unfortunate radio reality that Alan Partridge has a lot of fun with. The movie definitely mocks the fact that old-school radio has been replaced by robots.
If you like British humor, this movie will certainly do the trick. It’s a film in which nearly every line of dialogue can result in a giggle, due in large part to Coogan’s stellar delivery.
The film is available for rental via online sources including Amazon.com and iTunes.