“Alan Patrtridge: Alpha Papa”
In “Alan Patrtridge: Alpha Papa” Steve Coogan’s determinedly unheroic hero gets to flirt with redemption. The commercial radio station at which he DJs has been taken over by oleaginous corporate types, and when his sacked fellow employee, Pat Farrell – touchingly played by Colm Meaney – instigates an armed siege, Partridge finds himself in the role of mediator. Declan Lowney’s film, scripted by the familiar army of Partridge writers (Armando Ianucci, et al) more than does its job in terms of pleasing the fans - there is a constant stream of gags, both verbal and visual, mostly clever, some cheap; the plotting is deceptively clever. The performances from both franchise regulars (Felicity Montagu, Simon Greenall, Tim Key, Phil Cornwell) and newcomers (Nigel Lindsay, Anna Maxwell-Martin, Monica Dolan, Darren Boyd) are exemplary. It’s perhaps too parochial to be a true classic, but great fun.