I thought long and hard about it, whether or not I agreed with the ending of Man of Steel. I initially gave the filmmakers credit for trying to modernize Superman, to bring him into the more morally clouded 21st century. But the more and more I thought about it, the less and less I liked what I had seen. I would not have had such a problem with the ending if it had not been for the fact that the whole movie was leading up to something completely different.
Most specifically, there is the Jesus parallels, which have always pervaded the Superman mythos. In this film, though, the viewer was beaten over the head with the idea. Oh, Superman just happens to be 33 years old, the same age as Jesus in the Bible? Oh, the big crossroads moment of Superman choosing his path just happens to come in a church, apropos of nothing previously in the film? Oh, Clark debates his choices in a close up, with a stained glass window of Jesus taking up the entire scene behind him? Oh, the ongoing theme is that he is meant to be the Savior, whether it is of the Kryptonians or the humans? I get it; he’s Jesus. Two and a half hours of that being drilled into the viewer’s head, only to land on: the only way Jesus can save humanity is to kill the bad guys.
See the problem?