The popular BBC character Alan Partridge is now the star of his first feature-length film about a local radio station that's taken hostage by a former DJ who wants his job back. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
Most American audiences might not be familiar with Alan Partridge, a comic creation from the mind of actor and writer Steve Coogan. Partridge has been a big hit in the U.K. for more than 20 years, and now, he stars in his own feature-length film.
Partridge was once a high-profile television star, but now, he's just a local DJ in the small English town of Norfolk. When the station is taken over by a new media conglomerate, they want to make major changes and get rid of some of the on-air staff.
In an effort to save his job, Partridge throws his colleague Pat, played by Colm Meany, under the bus. To say that Pat doesn't take the news well is putting it mildly. In fact, he completely loses it, takes the station employees hostage and threatens to kill them all unless he's re-hired.
Sent in to diffuse the situation is Alan Partridge, who Pat doesn't realize is the person who's most responsible for getting him fired in the first place.
As the national media descends on the place, Alan, whose dreams of being a big star again faded long ago, sees this as an opportunity to possibly get back in the spotlight and kickstart his career.
A prior knowledge of the Partridge character is not at all necessary to enjoy the pleasures that are offered up here. It's a great stand-alone movie filled with clever dialogue and a hilarious performance from Coogan in the lead role.
Coogan, who was outstanding in "Philomena" last year, seems to be having a ball here playing his signature character. Partridge is an egotist, but he's also witty, and the words that come out of his mouth are consistently funny. Co-written and co-created by by Aramado Ianucchi, who also created the HBO series "Veep," it's an enjoyable, smart comedy, which tips its hat lovingly to "Dog Day Afternoon." Check it out.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: Three apples