It does not mince words or want to explain everything directly, except for one or two times like when they explain scientifically technical terms such as 'terraforming' or 'singularity' which it is alright to assume not everyone will know off hand. It gives the audience credit to be smart enough to understand what is going on.
The language used in the film is distinctly American with a lot of colloquial terms being used such as phrases, curses, slang etc. that not all English speaking people in the world will easily pick up on, to a very small extent myself included.
The scenes with Ma Kent were the most touching for me and really made me feel happy, especially when he returns home and tells her he found his people and she almost breaks down remembering what it was like when he was a baby and how she feared losing him. That point almost brought me to tears, happy manly tears.
The scenes with Pa Kent were extremely reminiscent of those from Smallville, and in fact he does support Clark even though he is being overprotective of him. He keeps telling him that the man he grows up to be will change the world and keeps imparting good values, although his fears and love for his son overwhelm him and his decision making, hence the tornado death scene. This Johnathan is almost exactly like the Smallville version, who was as overprotective but supportive when need be and who also died while trying to protect his son's identity.
The flashback scenes were interspersed all throughout the movie and were perfectly aligned with whatever emotion/situation adult Clark was going through at that moment in the present time.
I've heard people online complain that everybody knows Supes' identity since the police car that brought Lois to him at the Kent farm would have heard her calling him Clark and that the military should know his identity since they helped him bring the pod to the airbase.
The explanations which I have arrived to are as follows: The policeman that brought Lois to Clark was of a good, strong character and would have understood what the stakes were and would have agreed to keep it to himself at that point, not that anybody would be willing to listen considering the world was being attacked by aliens.
The military point can be easily explained that after Lois told Clark how to reopen the Phantom Zone, he would have picked up the ship and brought it to the airbase himself. The scene where we see it with ropes around it and the helicopter is when they were loading it onto the carrier frame to be loaded into the cargo plane bay. Therefore the military did not bring it to the base from the Kent farm themselves.
The scene where Supes flies into Zod and goes through the silos, the fields and finally the gas station, I will readily agree are indicative of a reckless Supes, but remember he had just learned his maximum strength and flight just a day or two before. Also, this was his mother who was being threatened not only verbally but physically as well what with Faora picking her up by her neck and throwing her around. Supes could hear his mom's voice anywhere on the planet and so was visibly agitated as soon as he heard what was happening to her. One must give Supes the benefit of the doubt at that point.
The destruction and the Supes savings - I know nobody wants to go over this again, but this is important as it is the most divisive point among viewers.
In the battle at Smallville, the first hit (and a hard one at that) is by the military planes even before Supes and the other 2 Kryptonians could lay a finger on each other. Then Namek brings down one plane, Supes STOPS Faora from bringing down the other and thus SAVES a pilot from certain death. They crash into that diner where no one is hurt and they duke it out, with Faora causing him to go flying around town and crashing through buildings. Supes throws Faora through Otto's Barber shop and is tackled by both Faora and Namek. He then visibly tries to split them up and throws Namek aside and grabs Faora and tries to FLY AWAY FROM SMALLVILLE with her only to be pulled down again by Namek. At some point he even SAVES that guy who falls from the chopper.
Side note : One can really feel the tension and stakes in this battle as it is about whether Supes can surmount the odds or not against 2 nemeses.
Then Supes throws Namek into a visibly empty area with cargo trains (maybe carrying oil due to the explosions) in order to SAVE Col. Hardy from Faora. Then more missiles from the military. This is the end of the battle.
In Metropolis, ALL of the crater (which is clearly just half a mile wide or about a kilometer wide and not spanning across the whole city as some people state) is created before Supes even gets there due to reasons explained in point (9). Then Zod proceeds to bring down an already half destroyed empty building, throws Supes through a building under construction and through a few buildings that do not come down by any means, and take down that Wayne satellite. The only 'destruction' Supes is responsible for is the facade of a building when they clash in midair, the outer windows and a few columns of a like 2 buildings that he smashes Zod's face into and the roof of the train station where he SAVES the family and all of earth.
Let's tally - Supes created destruction = 10 % of movie, Supes saves = 99.99% of world
- Zod and co. created destruction = 90% of movie, Zod and co. kills = 0.01% of world (maximum of 10,000 people in Metropolis and many soldiers)
There's another common complaint online that Supes should have gone straight to the ship in Metropolis and not to the one in the Indian ocean but there is a simple and glaringly obvious reason for that as shown in the film. At first when Supes himself explains that the gravity beam would continue to expand continuously I thought that if he needed to stop one of the machines why couldn't he just stop the Metropolis ship and throw the pod onto it at the same time. Then later I realized that nothing could get close to the Zod ship since it had a gravity barrier around it and no missiles or jets could get past it. Thus Supes had to ensure that the gravity beam was off from a point that he could reach and disengage it so as to not destroy their only chance at opening the Phantom Zone. Since even Supes can't be at two places at once, the job had to be divided into two groups for maximum time efficiency and to atleast mitigate the losses, that no one had control over except Zod.
Another complaint is that the good natured Superman isn't present and instead we get a dark brooding Supes.....say what?? As soon as the movie begins we see Supes risking his life (since he didn't know the true extent of his powers) to save a bunch of dudes on an oil rig. Then we see him stand up to that schmuck for that girl in the diner where he worked, then he saves Lois with a reassuring smile.
As soon as he hears about Zod's plans he is ready to go against all the hiding that his life had led up to and forego his promise to his father and expose himself to the world and surrender to Zod in order to SAVE HUMANITY. He does this of his own accord with no help from outside. He talks to the priest/pastor and then walks away having made his decision only to be reinforced by that man's words. Let me re-iterate : this Supes is ready to give his life and his freedom so that a world that he has called home for 33 years but who doesn't care about him can survive, and without a second thought. We don't need to be seeing Supes saving cats from trees or saving suicidal people to know that he is truly good hearted. Those scenes will come in later movies when he is established as the SUPERMAN (which he is by the end of this film).
The gravity beam scene in which he is thrown down by the liquid metal arms of the World Engine and then gets up and with all his strength and courage after being weakened and then puts his arm up and balls up his fist (and looks like Chris Reeve) before flying into the machine thus saving Perry et al has got to be one of the most intense and strong and uplifting Supes moments I have ever seen in any form of media. That scene alone is better and more emotional than most of what gets put out in CBM's nowadays. It was a true Superman moment, the moment I felt that Clark had finally become Superman!
Why metropolis and not somewhere else - Well for this there is only one explanation, since everything bad in Supes world always has to happen in Metropolis (in any form of media) it's a given. No questions asked lol.
I still don't like the post end-fight joke scene which I think was due to Goyer's bad writing or ideas. Though the scenes after that and the whole Clark at the Daily Planet with that smile at the end really lights up the whole movie and was the most perfect ending that could have existed. Whenever I watch that scene and hear those rising notes as he smiles I know that this was the best Superman we have seen on screen in this generation.
The Lois shown in this movie is not the generic damsel in distress she has been shown as in previous iterations, this damsel is smart and super perseverant and is able to deduce Supes' identity before he can even try to fool her with those amazing magical spectacles.
She is a strong character that was only second in screen time after Supes and Zod and was the backbone to his becoming Superman and saving the world. She conveyed Jor-El's message to him and gives him the strength to surrender himself to Zod (as he says, "Thank you for believing in me.") AND helps the military open the phantom zone while being on site. As they say behind every successful man is a strong woman.
There was some serious chemistry between then, especially in the scene like the pre surrender desert scene I stated in the last point and every subsequent interaction, so I don't get the complaints. The look on her face when she realizes how human this alien really is was just amazing, even though it's subtle.
This movie has the perfect score at the perfect timings throughout the runtime, thereby providing us with an elevated movie experience that few movies have been able to offer. Grand movies become even grander with great and memorable music which is strongly responsible for the success of films such as Star Wars, LOTR, Matrix etc. I personally feel it is Zimmer's best work to date and I can play 'Arcade' all day long.