Originally Posted by TheFlamingCoco
^ Sometimes I wonder what lies in Zack's brain
Supes has to kill in order to decide that he doesn't like killing.
Carnage has to happen to represent the effects of carnage on people
I have my own theory about Superman killing here.
One of Superman's fatal flaws is that he leaps before he looks and that he's naive as seen in many instances in comics. This often makes him a victim of many things such as mind control as seen in the Batman comic Hush for example and in Injustice: Gods Among Us(comic). Of course as he gets older this lessens but since it's Day 1 Year 1, it's there. Zod used Superman's inherent love of Earth's people and fact that Clark thinks fast and doesn't look before he leaps against him and pushed and goaded Superman to give him a warrior's death seeing as everything Zod cares about is gone. Seeing as a good death is its own reward is the credo the Kryptonians live by, Zod's reward is that he gets to torment the "weak and unsure" Superman from the grave about how his abilities can make him a living tool for murder. That catalyzes growth in Superman and made him realize this isn't right and that sometimes he has to step back and preserve life at all costs and not become a tool for killing by the bad guys. If Superman really had the intent to kill from the get-go he would've killed Zod even before the fight began.
So in essence Zod really won there as he used Superman just like the numerous times Lex Luthor wins by playing with the Superman's flaw of caring.
Originally Posted by The Question
Because when the hero of your movie barely reacts at all to the likely death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people it kind of makes him look like a sociopath.
And, from a broader narrative standpoint, when the movie doesn't actually address the horror of what happened, when you have characters standing around in the charred remains of the downtown area of an enormous city with all of the horror and tension of first responders standing around at a car crash where mild injuries were sustained, it rings false. That level of devastation isn't something you just shrug off, you have to acknowledge it. If the movie doesn't seem to be emotionally invested in something that serious and significant then it weakens the audience's emotional investment. Plus, if the movie doesn't really treat the carnage going on as that big of a deal, it kind of deflates the stakes and tension of the climax.
And I'm not asking for Superman to give some long winded eulogy for the lives lost at the end of the battle. That would be a little better because it would at least be trying, but it would still ring false. I'm talking about reaction shots of looks for horror on the hero's face. I'm talking about actually recognizing that civilians are dying in this attack. Show the efforts to evacuate the area, show the hero at least make a token effort to save innocent people who aren't his love interest, show characters reacting to the aftermath and being emotionally effected by what happened. Little things that address what's going on on screen and ground the movie emotionally. It may seem small but it goes a long way toward making a film feel more sincere and mature about it's subject matter.
I know people are probably sick of comparing Man of Steel to The Avengers, but I think it's worth comparing here. The final fight in The Avengers was handled much better. They did all of these little things to actually engage the seriousness of what was happening. They showed people reacting to the horror of the situation, they showed the toll it was taking on the common person, they showed the steps being taken to minimize the loss of civilian life, they showed the heroes rescuing people in the midst of the battle, and they showed the heroes actively concerned for the fate of civilians and clearly stated that keeping the fighting contained to the area that was being evacuated to minimize civilian loss of life was a very deliberate part of their strategy. By the end of the battle, everyone involved is physically and emotionally drained. They're tired, they're angry, they're defiant, and it's because they've been effected by the accumulation of everything that's gone on in the climax. Superman pretty much stays in the same place emotionally throughout the climax, and the only thing that seems to change his emotional state is when he's forced to kill Zod (which is then forgotten in the next scene).
Despite being lighter in tone, The Avengers is, in this regard, a lot more mature than Man of Steel. Man of Steel tried to be more mature by going dark, but failed to engage it's subject matter in a mature way.
I think most of us are forgetting that all of this will be addressed in the sequel and that Man of Steel was probably made with the intention of sequels. David Goyer himself said at SDCC this year that the sequel will address the consequences of the first movie. So there's no need to really rant about how the intense death toll was handled in the movie when we have the entire sequel to deal with that. I think in the long run the destruction would end up serving the purpose of making Lex Luthor a more compelling character and a much stronger antagonist to Superman in his smear campaign against him.
Originally Posted by slumcat
It was extremely convenient that they on their return to earth, they smashed into the train station exactly next to where Lois was last, so that she could comfortably run in at the last moment and console him.
Zod was controlling the fight the whole time.