The makers of sports documentary On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter, the latest entry in a series that began in 1971, cast their nets too wide when they try to establish the diverse nature of a motorcycle community.
Arguing that motorcyclists aren't "just thrill-seekers," director Dana Brown and his co-writer, Scott Rousseau, haphazardly connect all things motorcycle-related, linking daredevil stunts to the proliferation of motorcycles in Vietnam with inane commentary like "In Vietnam, riding a bike is much more than a passion or a lifestyle -- it is life."
The Next Chapter's diffuse scope undercuts talking-head subjects like Doug Henry, an award-winning motocross racer who broke his back while competing, but still loves and rides motorcycles. By quoting him in soundbite-friendly interview segments, Brown and Rousseau make Henry look weirdly defensive, like when he explains racers' passion for motorcycles as "a way to keep a smile on our face...It just happens that the way we have fun is riding motorcycles."
Scenes of competitive racing are similarly harried. If they were paced a little more thoughtfully and scored with less bombast, slow-motion footage of clay-colored dirt flying from cyclists' tire-treads might have been beautiful. But as they're presented, these sequences are ruined by manic cuts and tacky stadium rock song cues. If anything unites On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter's cyclists, it's Brown and Rousseau's inability to highlight their subjects' most singular qualities.