You are correct there IS a difference, MoS was worse in that Zod was already beaten by someone that wasn't the protagonist, having your main antagonist punked out so early in the film kinda effects the stakes and tension in the movie. Especially for me.
He came off pretty generic to me, he wanted to destroy the world and commit mass genocide, for what? for patriotic pride? What about common restraint? morality? Even if he didn't care about the billions of humans he had doomed, surely he would show any sort of sympathy for any remaining Kryptonian, regardless of who he was. It was an underwritten character, he came off as a tool who had no problem killing billions for a patriotism that he never really showed (just kept talking about) the least they could do was make him seem somewhat threatening.
But he was just a scientist, wasn't kryptonian society a deterministic one? Every kryptonian was born to fulfill a purpose in their society. Any way you cut it an army general getting beat in hand to hand combat by any non army person (no matter how good they are) is kinda suspect.
I will admit Zod forcing Clark to kill him is a great villainous moment, heck it was so good it turned viewers against him! (let alone the backlash in the film universe itself) but it would have been far more effective if Zod was either a more sympathetic character or his relationship with Clark was better written, his despair after the fact felt incredibly forced.
Yeah I'll give you that, that entire Talia/Bane thing is probably the worst thing in a movie that I love, talk about cutting a characters balls off. Kinda showed you, no matter how badass a man can get, you can always get undermined by a beautiful woman.