Originally Posted by The Question
Addressing the destruction and the seriousness of it isn't too big to be explored in the first movie. I'm not saying have a beginning middle and end for a plot about the reconstruction of Metropolis and how it changed the world. I'm talking about reaction shots, I'm talking about taking a moment to acknowledge what happened and why it matters. You don't have to save that for another movie. You can expand on it in another movie, center the sequel's plot around it, but you can still have it in the first film.
My point is that the movie skipped over that time instead of even taking a moment to address the emotional reality of the aftermath. The movie deemed that to be unimportant. That, I think, is a problem.
The lack of acknowledgement of the death and destruction ties in with the criticism that the killing of Zod feels tacked on IMO. Since the penultimate act, the Metropolis battle and destruction toll, is set up as the all-compelling reason for Zod to die at Superman's hand, while the happy ever after ending seems to segue more from the Smallville set piece than from the latter.
The pacing and editing issues seem to stem largely from post-Smallville fight too.