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Beez' Blog of Moto Greatness - On Any Sunday - movie review


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Last night I went to see On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter, a documentary on motorcycle racing. A little history; the original On Any Sunday was produced in 1971 by filmmaker Bruce Brown who's most famous film up to that point was Endless Summer (1964) a surfing documentary. The original On Any Sunday is widely regarded by motorcyclists as the best motorcycle move of all time. It stars Steve McQueen, Malcolm Smith and Mert Lawill and highlights several different disciplines of moto racing both pro and amateur and has a sort of fun, innocence throughout the film. It's just a feel good movie that wants you want to get out and ride. Some of it is corny but that is its charm.

On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter was made by Dana Brown, Bruce's son and it tries to recapture the original movie's style. It achieves this as well as it can but it's been 43 years and motorcycle racing has really grown up in that time. The new film covers motocross, Erzberg hare scramble, freestyle MX, flat track, ice racing, speedway land speed records at Bonneville Salt Flats, Pike's Peak Hillclimb and the top of the sport, MotoGP. It also covers women's motocross, motorcycles as transportation in other countries and motorcycles as a tool to get medicine to remote villages in Africa.

Overall I loved it! There were a few segments that could have been better but all of it had the feel good vibe of the original and I know I will buy the DVD and watch it over and over like I still do with the original. For me the best part was the segment on Doug Henry, a former professional motocrosser, champion and Hall of Famer who is now paralyzed from the waist down. You guessed it, he still rides on a special bike he built himself and could probably still smoke most riders on motocross track. The grit Doug has and his positive attitude are what makes him an inspiration and true hero to me. I will probably do a blog post on Doug in the future.

There are other inspirational stories in the film like women's MX champ Ashley Fiolek and the one handed flat tracker and feel good stuff with kids and families so I think On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter is a movie even non-motorcycle people would enjoy.

One last thing I almost forgot to mention, the cinematography is excellent. It has camera angles and slow motion footage that shows stuff that even I have never seen. There's some really cool dynamics going on that you just can't see any other way.


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