Now before we begin, let me just go over what I consider what an Easter egg is for those who don't know. Obviously we all know that an actual EASTER EGG is one of many hard-boiled or plastic eggs (often filled with candy or spare change because kids don't work for anything and therefore don't deserve paper money) hidden around a designated area (backyard) for children to find on Easter Sunday.
Now of course, we are not here today to talk about ACTUAL Easter eggs in the holiday sense, but the Easter eggs that filmmakers like to hide in movies. Same concept, just replace the backyard with the movie, and the eggs with basically any number of things. Now to stay consistent throughout the article considering this is based on MY point of view as it may or may not differ from yours, I will tell you what I consider an Easter egg. A movie Easter egg is any name-drop, artifact, place, etc. that the average movie goer will completely overlook but an eagle-eyed/eared nerd will spot. And my usage of the word "nerd" is not to be mistaken as an insult. I pride myself in being a nerd as you should too if you are one. If you haven't heard, it's actually pretty cool to be a nerd these days. So, with all that being said...
With the enormous wave of comic book movies (namely the superhero genre) over the last decade or so, we have seen that not only can movies based on superheroes be spectacles and bring in absurd amounts of money, but even more importantly, we've discovered that they can actually be GOOD films. Because of the spectacle and unique stories of these characters, audiences for these movies are no longer only people who have read the books or have a rich knowledge of these characters, but also just the average person looking to have a good time at the movies.
Because all of these characters in said superhero movies have such rich histories and numerous stories, it has become common (almost to the point of redundancy) for filmmakers to hide Easter eggs all over the place in their movies for the nerds who will recognize them or the detectives who are willing to analyze and discover them. Now this is fun and all, but as with anything, there IS a line that if crossed it can become redundant or obnoxious. I'm not even going to get started about Stan Lee's cameos, as they are a nothing but a gimmick at this point. Just another scene stealing moment for Stan Lee to convince the world that he created everything ever. Eventually we'll probably see him in non-comic book movies, but I digress.
Easter eggs are getting obnoxious to the point where they're not really even Easter eggs any more. MARVEL I'm looking at you. Marvel movies of late have become so congested with Easter eggs that you can almost not go a single frame without finding one. And this becomes a problem when you dedicate an entire scene to showcase an Easter egg just so the fanboy nerds don't have to do the work. It sends the message that those who have kept up with the characters for so long are not smart enough to find hidden things, and it takes away from the fun of it. Another thing that this does (and this is big) is that it alienates the general audience and takes them out of the scene. Let me give you an illustration...
Imagine you're out with your friends who you haven't seen in a while, and you just happen to be the one in the group who moved out of state for college while the rest of your friends went to the same college together in state, and you all go out for drinks, and are catching up and having a good time. Then all of a sudden one person makes a joke and everybody laughs, except for you. You have no idea what everybody is laughing about, then your friend next to you whispers to you, "It's an inside joke. I'll tell you about it later." What is the point of explicitly bringing up an inside joke if only a select few can enjoy it? Why alienate you? Because they don't care, that's why. They know who appreciates it and they've been dying to bring it up for a while anyway so they can't help it whether the execution of it is right or not. This is the problem that filmmakers are beginning to have with their use of Easter eggs.
One scene in particular that stands out to me is this one...
This scene is one of the many things wrong with this movie, but specifically it is just so pointless. I mean, yes, it provides a nice little laugh, but it's irrelevant to everything going on in the movie. And yes, this IS an Easter egg because they don't even discuss what it is. It's just a thing that Coulson thinks is important. And for those who are not familiar with Captain America (let's not forget that he's not really the most A-list hero when it comes to comics), they have no idea why this is funny to everybody else. The movie could've skipped this scene and it wouldn't change anything. And while many of you would say, "Screw them, the joke isn't for everybody." But shouldn't it be? Let's not forget this is a MOVIE not a comic book. I certainly don't go to the movies looking to be alienated by a joke I don't get that about half the audience really understands. I go to the movies to enjoy the experience and not get taken out of sit during the movie. If I want a comic, I'll go buy one.
Filmmakers just need to be more tactful with how they display the Easter eggs they choose to use, as they can distract and take viewers out of the story. And maybe even more importantly they can take away the fun in the concept of the Easter egg. They are meant to be hidden. A reward for for the nerds. Don't hand feed them to us!
Zack Snyder has probably done the best job handling Easter eggs. In Man of Steel the general viewer would notice the obvious LexCorp logos everywhere, and MAYBE the Wayne Enterprises logo on the satellite that Zod hits. But those didn't deviate from the storytelling. They just simply happened to be there. If you missed it, you missed it, whatever, we won't worry about it. That was the way he handled Easter eggs in the movie. Blink and you miss them. It doesn't take a deep Google search to figure out that there is a boatload of Easter eggs in Man of Steel. But it's so much more rewarding when they are brought to light because it makes every viewing of the movie richer and more fun. Snyder didn't spoon feed the audience Easter eggs. They were just there for us to find.
My main wish is that Easter eggs would be handled with more care, and well hidden. Make us work for it! It's more rewarding that way. Don't leave this article thinking I hate Easter eggs, because I think they're great. I just appreciate the hunt, and don't appreciate being treated like a dummy.
Well that's all folks, let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments! Do you think overuse of Easter eggs can take away from a movie or am I exaggerating? Make your voice heard! Thanks all for reading! Feel free to give me a follow, and check out some of my other articles! One in particular includes some pretty prophetic predictions about Batfleck that have been coming true for the most part. Goodbye, friends!