Originally Posted by Shikamaru
The problem I think people have with Superman killing Zod is not necessarily the fact that he kills him but more the fact that it doesn't feel earned by the film. We did not get into the character's head enough throughout the course of the film. We don't know what his stance on life is, what morals he has, what he believes in, etc. The film thinks that it did just as good of a job of getting into the protagonist's head as Batman Begins and Iron Man did, and therefore thinks it can pull something like that off and have it be accepted. However, that is not the case.
And that is really what a lot of MOS boils down to: Great ideas not executed properly. There are so many things in this film that are poorly received not because of the ideas behind them but because of the poor execution. A lot of the times, people even get the wrong message out of it due to how poor the execution is in certain places. Case and point: Jonathan Kent. Many people assume Pa Kent never wanted Clark to use his powers to help people when in Snyder's mind, what Pa Kent actually believed is that Clark wasn't ready to reveal himself yet and had to be ready for that when the time was right. Otherwise, he would never have a chance of being accepted by our society.
Basically, the execution makes the film feels like this:
BOOM! Cool Krypton stuff and giant birds!
BAM! Cool flashbacks with brief touches on the symbol of hope and humanity!
WOW! Aliens are attacking the planet now!
HOLY ****! Superman and the army beat the **** out of everyone then Supes snaps the ****er's neck like a boss!
And now happy ending with people smiling!
...when Snyder's real intentions was to do something more like this:
Jor-El sends his only son from a hopeless world beyond saving to a hopeless world that still has a fighting chance.
Clark grows up not being sure of what his purpose in life is. Has the following beliefs, the following stances on things such as murder, the following internal conflicts, etc.
The lack of hope and of freedom that has lead to Krypton's eventual demise has now come to Earth. Clark does not know what to do and has to make a decision - a decision based on all the morals/beliefs/lessons we've seen him have + learn throughout the course of the film till now.
Clark decides he can't let Zod turn Earth into Krypton - not just into a physical Krypton but into the same hopeless/freedom-less world that Krypton has become.
Clark commits murder. Based on everything we've seen of his beliefs throughout the film, he reacts in the following way. However, his moral internal struggles have finally come to an end and knows what is right now. Clark looks at the sun, says "never again" to himself, and finally knows what type of person/hero he needs to be.
Clark joins the DP. His origin is complete and has finally become the Superman.
How do you get into Superman's head like that in a movie with a complicated origin.
Why cant we use the killing as a gateway to his thought process on life and the like. Why cant we use the mistakes he's made as a way to form his ideals and values.
I rather hear from someone who knows the effects of killing and not being careful than one who just says its not the right thing to do.
Batman and Iron Man was very step 1,2,3. Why couldnt we go the other route.
And lets be clear. Many superheroes even one with powers are self made. Superman is not self made so there is no journey to becoming Superman. There never really was that in the movies. Smallville comes close but that plays off the Donnerverse.
In Man of Steel we get to go deep inside his head. I thought it would have been harsh if Kal's first action in his suit was kill a kryptonian.
I think people soooooooo upset that he wasnt a the victorious superhero in this film. He didnt have his victorious pose.
In the Donnerverse, Christopher Reeve entered as a high class fully formed hero. The posing, the charm, the confidence. Day 1 he was a grade A superhero and we never saw him grow into that.
I dont know. I appreciate what Snyder did. He made Lois meet the real Clark first before Superman and DP Clark. He made Zod more complex and sincere. He made Superman a simple farmboy with power face to fight an alien invasion.
How would a farmboy with superpowers would handle an alien invasion? Probably balls to the walls.
If Clark was raised by an affluent family, went to the top schools in the country with parents who had great ideas of the philosophy and wax poetic on the human condition then you would get the Superman that the opponents of Man of Steel wanted.
In STM, in the fortress, Clark was educated by a scientist, part of an affluent family, from a superior race.