Man of Steel director Zack Snyder says he was trying to emulate "ancient mythology."
A prevailing view among many viewers coming out of Man of Steel was that the filmmakers botched the job. Whereas they were hoping for a Superman that was a joyful symbol of hope, director Zack Snyder and company delivered a film that arguably somber and undeniably violent. In the opinions of some, in fact, it was a bit too violent. Many questioned how Superman, a guy who generally excels at flawlessly saving the day, could even begin to be a part of the rampant destruction exhibited in the film's final conflict.
As Man of Steel nears its opening in Japan, Snyder made himself available to offer some insight into his intentions with the final battle. "I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling," Snyder said. "In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters. In other countries like Greece and Japan, myths were recounted through the generations, partly to answer unanswerable questions about death and violence. In America, we don't have that legacy of ancient mythology. Superman ... is probably the closest we get. It's a way of recounting the myth."
Snyder isn't the first to express the idea that characters like Superman are the modern day equivalent of ancient mythology. That being the case, we're wondering if the mythology shtick is really the best way to explain the film's devotion to blowing things up. It's not like there aren't other feasible ideas like Clark still being inexperienced with his powers or the baddies just being too powerful to fight in an unrestrained manner. Those arguably sound a bit better than an explanation that basically amounts to "I wanted it mythic so people had to die."
Source: The Hollywood Reporter