Steve Coogan is one of those very rare talents that comes along every 20 years. He remains today one of the funniest people I've ever come across. Alan Partridge is an absolute classic, and it will long live in the memory as one of the greatest TV characters of all time.
But the question about these TV funnymen is whether they can make the transition to film. Many have failed, few have succeeded.
Good news. Coogan succeeds!
To have a film debut as good as this bodes very well for the future. He teams up with Om Puri, star of East is East, and Ben Miller, sidekick to Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English.
Simon Garden (Coogan) is a parole officer framed for murder, after he witnesses one take place. The culprit is Police Inspector Burton (Stephen Dillane), and he bribes Coogan for his silence, in exchange for his release. But Garden has other ideas, and he wants justice and sets about stealing the CCTV tape which is in Burton's safety deposit box. Can they get justice?
It's a very funny film, but also has a very good plot. It reminds me a lot of Johnny English, although is not quite as good, but it's very close. And also it doesn't lie in the action-comedy genre, but simply a comedy.
John Duigan directs, with Coogan a co-scriptwriter. Andrew MacDonald co-produces, and he's just about my favourite producer. He's responsible for 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, The Last King of Scotland and many more masterpieces.
This is a far better film that the mediocre You, Me and Dupree I watched yesterday, and a million miles better than the parody films coming out. I strongly recommend it, and given its 90 minute length, you can't really go wrong.