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‘On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter’: for motorcycle fans

A review of “On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter”: Filmmaker Dana Brown follows up his father Bruce Brown’s 1971 motorcycle documentary, “On Any Sunday,” with a contemporary look at racers and stunt riders. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4.

Special to The Seattle Times

A sports documentary for motorcycle enthusiasts, “On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter” is a glowing look at the world of two-wheel daredevil stunts and various forms of professional racing.

Non-aficionados might not be so quick to embrace the film, given abundant footage of bone-crunching crashes.

Directed by Dana Brown, who has made similar — occasionally better — films (the 2003 surfing documentary“Step Into Liquid” comes to mind), “The Next Chapter” is a follow-up of sorts to the 1971 motorcycle classic “On Any Sunday.” The latter remains a highlight in the career of filmmaker Bruce Brown, Dana’s father (who appears in the new work).

That theme of family legacy, in a general way, is sold hard in “The Next Chapter,” which repeatedly states that motorcycles can bond generations even when nothing else will. The notion starts early in the film when we meet Robbie Maddison, an extreme motocross champion who has taken up the mantle of legendary performer Evel Knievel.

Maddison’s amazing leaps on his motorcycle over canyons, football-field-length distances and tops of buildings are a breathtaking sequence in “The Next Chapter.” Yet what remains even stronger in one’s memory is the sight of his toddler son watching his dad with awe.

Brown celebrates racing, too, as a generational bridge for riders and fans alike. But it can be hard to reconcile those good feelings in an activity where calamity, a visual refrain in “The Next Chapter,” is so much in evidence.

Despite Brown’s unquestioning approach, “The Next Chapter” is a typically handsome, energized, nonfiction celebration of a sport embraced by die-hard fans.

Tom Keogh:

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