Risen: The Howard Winstone Story Review

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Welsh boxer Howard Winstone suffers a terrible hand injury that leads him to pioneer a new fighting style. With a dedicated trainer in his corner (Noble), he bids for glory.


A biopic of Welshman Howard Winstone (Stuart Brennan), who took the World Featherweight championship in 1968, this is appropriately old-fashioned. Winstone, forced by a hand injury to develop a new fighting style, has a dignified miner dad (Boyd Clack), a stalwart trainer (John Noble) and a wife (Grainne Joughin) who comes to hate the fight game, all earnestly delivering the usual bio-bytes between bouts. The fights go with a Raging Bull classical music/slo-mo/bursts of blood feel, but Risen valorises its champion rather than ponders the cost of being repeatedly hit in the head. Howard is so nice, even his opponents like him, and the obstacles on his road to the title aren’t especially troubling, which leaves this featherweight in the drama department even if it packs a punch in the ring.

Stodgy fare that eulogises the man rather than delving deeply into his compelling life.