Comedy and high quality laughs don't have to be broad and clunky, they can be smart and sneak right up on you. "Alan Partridge" takes a long standing fictional character and presents him in his big screen debut for the kind of sly laughs that fans of British comedy will truly appreciate.
"Alan Partridge" finds Alan (Steve Coogan) at the center of a siege, when a disgruntled fellow DJ (Colm Meaney) decides to hold their station hostage after learning that he’s getting sacked by the new management, a large media conglomerate.
Resurrecting an old character from their radio and TV days, star Steve Coogan and writer/producer Armando Iannucci's "Alan Partridge" is some subtle and very British dead pan comedy that will leave you rolling in the aisles, despite liberally borrowing from films that came before it. Director Declan Lowney is a TV veteran and he assembles a solid film that while unspectacular at times, gets us from A to B in an efficient fashion and unfurls the narrative, getting to the meat of it all as quickly as possible.
The script has five different cooks in the kitchen including Iannucci and Coogan and it has a tendency to drift a little at times while borrowing from 1994's "Airheads" pretty liberally. However, it still works as we see Partridge, our charming yet still kind of unlikeable hero navigate his way through this crisis for his own survival. It's subtler then a film with wall to wall laughs but still has some genuine emotion and when the hilarity hits, it nails the target dead on with comedy ranging from cringe worthy to full on satire as we laugh, groan, smile and shake our face whenever the scenario calls for it.
Coogan has a mastery of dead pan humor and timing that is simply brilliant as he inhabits the self involved "Alan Partridge". We believe in his ego driven adventures as his friends and co-workers are held at gun point and he gets lost on the carousel of fame as the media attention goes to his head and Coogan simply makes it a hilarious ride. A role like this only works when you play it 100% straight, and Coogan sells it with some brilliant deadpan delusion that we believe from minute one. Colm Meaney does well as his disgruntled co-worker who just wants things to go back to the way that they were and while the ensemble does have a few familiar faces, it's Coogan carries the film with his unique blend of hilarity and genuine emotional charisma.
Picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are solid and the special features include, a making of "Alan Partridge", a behind the scenes look and an AXS TV look at the film.
While "Alan Partridge" certainly skews to the across the pond comedic styling's, it works well enough to generate laughs that will work for all audiences.
4 out of 5 stars.
"Alan Partridge" is available on all major formats and platforms.