Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is based on the show I'm Alan Partridge, which is a 2 part series of 6 episodes each about an eccentric radio show host situated in Norfolk, England.
As this was a 'special preview screening', I was feeling pretty special and took advantage of the cinema's bar and ordered expensive, cheap house wine. This probably assisted in my decision to laugh the loudest and the hardest when appropriate to fill the empty seats next to me.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is like a continuation from the show's last series, but with more of a substantial plot. After a Norfolk radio station decides to modernise and target a younger crowd, a veteran radio show host is fired and suffers from a nervous breakdown. He takes employees from the show hostage and it is up to the unreliable hero Alan Partridge to be the mediator between the police and the ex-employee.
As a self-described Alan Partridge enthusiast, my expectations for this film were high and I was preparing my stomach for a jocular jostle. For those of you who haven't watched the show, I suggest that you familiarise yourself to some Partridge Paraphernalia before sitting through 90 minutes of its snappy British humour. The film made me laugh from its musically displaced beginning to its dramatic finale. The humour is a hybrid of slapstick and subtleties that can randomly take on a morbid tone that catches you off guard. However, these sporadic melancholic moments are ingrained within the humour in classic BBC style.
Since I was already familiar with the show, I was a little disappointed that the film didn't include as many comedic features that made the character and the show so distinct, such as the bizarre one-liners, his constant singing, and his frequent lapses into a hallucination of stripper dancing. However, it was redeemed with a semi-naked scene and a soundtrack full of 80's classics. It is difficult to describe Alan Partridge as he is such a unique creation, but in general he is an overly dramatic, awkward and self-involved moron. This contributes to the film's hilarity as he is attempting to play the part of a hero despite not being morally sound.
Overall, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa encompassed everything required for an entertaining film: action, romance, comedy and 80s references. Back of the net!