Rogue of the Week: The Sweded Avengers

Thursday, 20 October 2011 16:37 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Rogue of the Week: The Sweded Avengers

What, other than the obvious qualifiers such as filmmaking talent and skill, differentiates a loving, well executed homage like Shaun of the Dead from insipid nonsense like Vampires Suck or Epic Movie?  Last week, the first real trailer for The Avengers debuted online and was promptly watched a bajillion times by excited fans the world over, and a two minute video released this week can help answer that question.  The video is a fanmade, no-budget shot-for-shot recreation of the Avengers trailer; it's compulsively watchable and a whole mess off fun because Bryan Harley and his cohorts made it with love, even if there is no small amount of tongue in cheek humor involved.  For their faithful backyard rendition of that trailer, the makers of the sweded The Avengers trailer are our Rogues of the Week.

To be clear, the term "sweding" originated in Michel Gondry's 2008 film Be Kind Rewind, in which Jack Black and Mos Def are two hapless guys who create a whole movement when they must recreate familiar movies from memory, with no money whatsoever.  Their little movies are objectively terrible, but have a lot of heart, displaying love for the original material and often surprising cinematic invention.

You'll find all that in the sweded The Avengers trailer, which Harley and his friends created for Swedefest, the world's only film festival dedicated exclusively to sweded movies.

Much of the fun comes from seeing how a crew with no real resources recreates moments from a movie that surely costs well over $150 million.  Solutions include an abundance of cardboard, toys, explosions that are really just blankets being thrown in the air, t-shirt costumes, slef-made sounds effects, and plenty of terrible wigs.  In fact, the doppleganger for Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow doesn't even have a wig, just some well-deployed red fabric.

It's not just that this trailer is almost irrationally fun to watch, but the inclusion of little tongue in cheek commentary throughout.  There's no shortage of vitriolic, hateful bile-spewing masquerading as criticism or commentary online, but these guys managed to incorporate some thoughts on the trailer intelligently, as part of a project that isn't an insult-delivery machine.  They bring up the fact that an Asgardian deity would have no clue what words like "philanthropist" and "playboy" mean, as well as the trailer's heavy reliance on Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, but the makers of this here sweded trailer didn't hop on a message board and decry the film as an abomination, they gloriously sweded their thoughts.

So, well done, Bryan Harley and Company.  You make for a significantly less gorgeous group of superheroes, but you're damned heroic nonetheless.

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