×

Film Review: ‘Why We Ride’

Director Bryan H. Carroll's feature-length love letter to motorcycle racing is far too earnest to connect with a broader audience.

With:

Ed Kretz Jr., Donna Jean Kretz, Jay Allen, Gloria Struck, Ted Simon, Alonzo Bodden.

Treating motorcycle enthusiasts and the objects of their obsession with the utmost reverence, the lovingly crafted documentary “Why We Ride” ultimately chokes on the fumes of bombastic self-seriousness. Director Bryan H. Carroll’s feature-length love letter is far too earnest to connect with the broader audience it’s clearly seeking in limited theatrical play. Smoother roads lie ahead via imminent home video release, where the pic can serve as a fitting holiday gift for those who find riding a Harley akin to having a religious experience.

Carroll takes his cues from the old “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” ad campaign as a sort of pop-culture corrective to the badass bikers portrayed in everything from “The Wild One” (briefly excerpted here) to “Sons of Anarchy,” and loads up on talking heads to demonstrate all-American variety within the ranks. Unfortunately, the wide age range and reasonable gender balance among the interviewees noticeably lacks racial or cultural diversity. It’s not long before the starry-eyed platitudes all start to sound the same, while ham-fisted attempts at prosthelytizing fall flat. Pic at least looks great, thanks to crisp HD lensing by Andrew Waruszewski and Douglas Cheney.

Popular on Variety

Film Review: 'Why We Ride'

Reviewed at Technicolor Hollywood, Oct. 22, 2013. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 89 MIN.

Production:

A Walking West Entertainment and Gnarlynow Entertainment presentation in association with Santa Susana Studios. Produced by James Walker, Bryan H. Carroll. Executive producer, Walter Zuck. Co-producer, Chris Hampel. Co-executive producers, George Gier, Andrew Hilton.

Crew:

Directed by Bryan H. Carroll. Written by Chris Hampel. Camera (color, HD), Andrew Waruszewski, Douglas Cheney; editors, Ryan Wise, David Blackburn; music, Steven Gutheinz; music supervisor, Vicki Hiatt; sound (Dolby Digital), Steve Jones; supervising sound editor, Gregory M. Gerlich; re-recording mixers, Kevin O'Connell, Carlos Sanches; visual effects supervisor, Robert Stadd; visual effects, VFX Collective; associate producer, Gerlich.

With:

Ed Kretz Jr., Donna Jean Kretz, Jay Allen, Gloria Struck, Ted Simon, Alonzo Bodden.

More Film

  • Ruth HandlerBARBIE DOLL, OFFICIALLY INAUGURATED AT

    'Dream Doll' Biopic on Barbie Doll Inventor in Development (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Dream Doll,” a biopic based on Barbie Doll inventor Ruth Handler, is in development with Bron Studios, Rita Wilson and Rare Bird Films, Variety has learned exclusively. The film will chronicle the life of Handler as she founded Mattel in 1945 and created the now-iconic Barbie doll, named after her daughter Barbara, in 1959. Handler [...]

  • hugh jackman tiff bad education

    HBO Buys Hugh Jackman Dramedy 'Bad Education'

    HBO will buy “Bad Education,” a dark look at corruption in a Long Island public school district that earned strong reviews after it premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The pact is for a reported $17.5 million, making it the largest deal of an otherwise lackluster market for movies. With a cast that [...]

  • MoviePass card

    How MoviePass's Former Chairman Plans to Save the Floundering Company

    Ted Farnsworth still believes that MoviePass, the high-flying subscription service that crashed to Earth in spectacular fashion, can soar again. The former head of Helios and Matheson Analytics, the data company that bought MoviePass in 2017 and turned it into a phenomenon by allowing customers to see a movie per day for $9.99 a month, [...]

  • Streaming Battle: Disney, Apple and More

    The Battle for Eyeballs Makes for an Action-Packed Streaming Arena (Column)

    It came as no surprise last week that Disney CEO Bob Iger had resigned from the Apple board since the two companies are poised to launch competing subscription streaming services in less than two months. But Iger’s departure (announced the same day that Apple revealed its Nov. 1 launch date and $5-a-month price point) underscores [...]

  • La vaca

    Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Boards Debut by Chile’s Francisca Alegria (EXCLUSIVE)

    In what marks the company’s first Latin American project, Alec Baldwin’s El Dorado Pictures has boarded Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria’s debut feature, “The Cow Who Sang a Song About the Future.” The multi-Emmy-winning actor and his El Dorado partner Casey Bader will serve as executive producers of the film, slated to start principal photography in [...]

  • Inside Tinder's User-Controlled, Secret Streaming Sereis

    Inside Tinder's Secret Streaming Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Popular dating app Tinder is set to release a choose-your-own-adventure-style original series in early October, marking its first outing as a content financier and distributor, numerous individuals close to the project told Variety. The series is set against an impending apocalypse, one of the insiders noted, and asks the question “Who would you spend your [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content