I use this article, and the following video, as a foundation for the points I will make later, so read the above, and watch this:
I get where Zack Snyder is coming from, and the article makes some good points as to why he's doing so, but I'm going to agree with a LOT of people that the ending to Man of Steel didn't work, because Superman caused a lot of damage, and because he killed Zod. Now, let's look at the 2 usual defenses people bring up about why the Man of Steel ending was good:
1) The Avengers had a bunch of people, while Superman was just one guy. You can't expect him to save people AND defeat Zod!
2) Superman was just starting out. He didn't know his powers, and the limits to those powers completely.
Actually, yes I CAN expect Superman to do both things at once! As Moviebob said in the above video, the only point to Superman, even a Superman just starting out his superhero career, is that he can do ANYTHING. He has superspeed, superstrength, and invulnerability. In every piece of media we've ever seen (print, TV, even previous movies) not only can he do both at the same time, he's willing to do both at the same time, because protecting humanity is his mission statement. In Man of Steel, he COULD do both. There's nothing in the movie that says he couldn't do both. He just DIDN'T, not even sequentially. He didn't bother to save civilians, and THEN defeat Zod, or the other way around. On that note, why din't he care about civilians? He focused on punching Zod a lot. The only time he did care was when Zod was about to laser-eye a family to death. That's when Superman does the whole neck-snapping thing. Oh, NOW you care about civilians, Superman? That's when a lot of people were confused, I'm sure. Superman didn't care until then, so WHY does he care now?
Anyway, that's my take on the whole thing. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments.