The Bride with White Hair 2 (1994) / Action-Fantasy
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably R for violence and disturbing images
Running Time: 80 min.
Cast: Brigitte Lin, Christy Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Sunny Chan
Director: David Wu, Ronny Yu
Screenplay: David Wu, Ronny Yu
Review published March 18, 1997
The second (and final) film in the Bride saga continues with Lian Ni-chang (Lin, The Three Swordsmen) vowing to slaughter the remainder of the tribes in Wu-Tang, as she is possessed by evil after being misunderstood by her lover, Zhuo Yi-Hang (Leslie Cheung, Rouge). The wolf-goddess has collected an army of amazons who were wronged by men to do her bidding and slaughter all men. In her zeal for revenge, she disrupts the marriage of the last of the heirs of Zhuo's family and steals away the bride (Christy Chung, Tai Chi 2) to join her army. The husband (Chan) and his crew must seek out Lian and put an end to all the madness. Zhuo is still seen trying to get the magical flower that will restore Lian back to her old self again, but will he be able to get there in time before she kills everyone?
Bride with White Hair 2 is a truly unsatisfying, and largely superfluous, ending to the original story, and very sad considering how beautifully poetic its predecessor had been. Lian is now reduced to a one-dimensional blood-thirsty killing machine, and the neo-feminist/fascist politics of the film make for some painfully trite and dimwitted social commentary.
The ending attempts to bring the film back into the love story, but I can guarantee that anyone who loved the first film will not like the results. The beautiful cinematography of the original film has been replaced by almost colorless, video-like textures and the dialogue is laughable (The subtitled version I screened featured the incessant mantra, "Men. See one. Kill one.")
Just like I did with the Highlander series, I will pretend the first film was the only one and reject any sequel spawned from it. If you were content with the first film, its probably best to leave it at that, and stay away from this misfire of a sequel. There is a reason that there's not a Bride with White Hair 3.
©1997 Vince Leo