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The Fiery Swords Scene: 'The Scorpion King' (2002)

Video  -  Documentary | Short  -  1 October 2002 (USA)
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Chuck Russell and Steven Brand discus the climactic final sword fight in The Scorpion King for which Brand had to learn how to fight ambidextrously with weapons that are on fire.

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Chuck Russell and Steven Brand discus the climactic final sword fight in The Scorpion King for which Brand had to learn how to fight ambidextrously with weapons that are on fire.

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1 October 2002 (USA)  »

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This featurette is featured on the Collector's Edition DVD for The Scorpion King (2002), released in 2002. See more »

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Features The Scorpion King (2002) See more »

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Smell the Rock cooking on set
13 September 2009 | by (Rijswijk (ZH), The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Yes, you read that right, swords is plural in this title. This is the companion piece to the 'Preparing the Fight' documentary on the Scorpion King DVD and it focuses on the final battle between The Rock and The Brand (that's Dwayne Johnson and Stephen Brand) as they go at each other while the entire set is burning down around them. First off director Chuck Russel praises Brand for learning how to sword fight with both hands at the same time in a very short time period. Since it was practically impossible to find a villain who could out-muscle The Rock, they decided to have him be an unbeatable sword fighter instead. And of course on top of that, both swords are actually on fire.

While most viewers in this age would suspect those flames to be entirely computer generated, only a few extra sparks were added by way of computer animation, and that was only done after The Rock nearly got his eyebrows burned off by mistake. That day on set, everyone could indeed smell what the Rock was cooking. Of course the audience watching the film won't be able to tell the fake fire from real anyway, and the fact that they went back and added some more flames to simulate and add to the scorching that actually happened kind of defuses the real deal. But in this documentary the footage of the actual near-burn is shown several times at various speeds, so people who's seen this will have an extra insight when viewing the picture again.

The Rock also got to use one of his special skills to end the fight sequence: the flip-up. A gymnastic move that people the Rock's size usually aren't able to perform. So they decided to put that particular move into the climax of the fight. I guess that's the way the ice cube crumbles in Hollywood: if you're a star they ask you if you've got any abilities you would like to perform in the picture. If you're an unknown playing a villain, you have to train your butt off to learn how to fight with flaming swords in both hands. Either way, people will still think it was all done with mirrors and computers.

8 out of 10


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