It's nice to see Steve Coogan back in top form as Alan Partridge, a character he's played—and played well—roughly one billion times. In Alan Partridge, he's a middle-aged DJ at a radio station in Norwich, England, who's on the chopping block after the station is bought and revamped by a conglomerate.

Because Partridge is something of a shyster, he throws his equally middle-aged colleague Pat (Colm Meaney, who's delightful) under the bus and gets him sacked. When Pat returns to the station with a shotgun and takes everyone hostage, the police decide it's best if Alan act as a go-between.

Of course, Pat doesn't know Alan is the real bad guy, and part of the fun is wondering whether Alan will be found out. The screenplay, by Coogan and four others (including Armando Iannucci, the creative mind behind In the Loop and HBO's Veep), is sharp, has jokes to spare and keeps the action moving.

It’s a welcome return to comedy after Coogan’s turn in Philomena (which he co-wrote) last year. Alan Partridge is silly, sharp, and has lots of opinions about corporatization, but the comedy is always the priority. In fact, it’s so much fun, you may want to watch all the other Alan Partridge stuff that’s comes before it.

Directed by Declan Lowney
With Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney and Felicity Montagu
Jean Cocteau Cinema
90 min.