5

Is there anything indicating the point of the ending of the film?

Everyone thinks Superman didn't make it.

But he has to, it's the entire point of the film - setting up the Justice League. It felt like a useless 20 minute ending to me. I really hope I'm just missing something, some context, that made that meaningful.

2

The other answers do not adress your very question about something you may have missed, making the end meaningful. Well, give me a try.

Warning

The following answer tries to make sense out of this film and contains massive spoilers. If you have not seen it yet, or are unable to admit that it possibly could be meaningful, stop reading!

Setting the stage

  • Over the whole film, there are two contending pictures of Superman: The picture of a morally upright, god-like being transcending humanity (the picture present in most of the public until the events of Man of Steel) and the picture of a false god, a finite being that pretends to be better, but in fact is not (the picture drawed by Alexander Luthor and Batman).
  • On the roof of the LexCorp tower, Alexander Luthor finally reveals what has been prefigured throughout the film: that the seed of the second picture has been sowed only by him, germinating in human's fear and especially Batman's and Wallace Keefe's anger.
  • After the nuke exploded, it is shown that Superman is able to regenerate from advanced bodily decay. He is about to decompose before the sunrays hit him, as indicated by some particles parting from his face. He looks dead by then.
  • Right before the last scene, it is said that his body is at the small funeral, by comment of Bruce Wayne regarding theatre at the east coast.
  • The words written in the central funeral 'If you seek his monument - look around.' together with the words spoken by Batman to Wonder Woman indicate that Superman is seen as a saviour-like figure, wakening the good in all of us by the example of his self-sacrifice for the very people that questioned him.
  • In the background, some heart-beating like sound
  • CUT - prison scene with Luthor indicating the arrival of Darkseid once again - CUT

The very last scene

  • Louis throws a handfull of earth on the casket, metaphorically burying him and turns around
  • We see two grave diggers waiting for her departure
  • Close-in on the earth on the casket, increasingly dramatic music
  • finally the earth starts to rise from the casket - FINAL CUT - just verified by looking closely at the scene in slow motion once again.

Conclusion

The very last point would not make sense if Superman actually was done terminately. It would rather have shown the grave diggers burying him. Additionally, the whole plot works towards revealing that all the envenomed perceptions of Superman were plotted by Luthor, culminating the fulfillment of his destiny as a Jesus-like saviour (remember Dias Del Muertes scene?), including self-sacrifice that purifies humanity from all doubts, uniting them and - in the end - resurrection.

I do not claim that it is a good plot, but it actually is more than most people make of it.

EDIT as per comment of @ThaddeusHowze under his answer: It is entirely possible that it will turn out to be a theft of his body and we will see a resurrected, but twisted Superman in later films. But it does definitely not make sense to bury him at this moment, i.e. think that he will not play his role in the twi Justice League films.

  • I have trouble accepting a twisted Superman for the Justice League - he will be part of it. Too iconic to do otherwise. So all the emotional power behind the move is totally lost. Seems like a waste. – Travis Jul 4 '16 at 4:03
  • @Travis: It would just be the opener for a 'rediscover his true allegiance and self' plot either way, but I hope they will not do this. I just wanted to adress the totally legit reservations towards a miraculous self-healing. But as seen in the nuke-scene, they apparently do not shy away from the general idea, but rather seem to aquaint with it. – Philip Klöcking Jul 4 '16 at 4:11
6

The easiest thing we can say about this movie is it is being used to set up the creation of the Justice League in the DC Extended Universe.

  • While it is unfortunate that Superman appears to have passed away, the death of the Man of Steel is a catalyst to prepare other metahumans on Earth for the eventual attack of an as yet unknown menace.

  • This threat is most likely Darkseid, an extraterrestrial (possibly extradimensional) threat that is trying to take over the Earth, possibly in search of a weapon of galactic proportions, the Anti-Life Equations.

Unfortunately, the movie, even in its extended version does not completely create a satisfying experience because of its deconstruction of two of the icons of the DC Universe, making both of them darker than they were expected to be given the early state of the DCEU.

  • 2
    The earth on his casket is beginning to levitate in the very last moment of the film and before that, the background music has an incipient 'heartbeat' sound underlying. For me, it was quite obvious that we will see another resurrection of him. – Philip Klöcking Jul 3 '16 at 21:49
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    Actually, I see someone stealing his body, not him resurrecting from the grave. In no works has he ever just stood up and walked away. There was always extenuating circumstances, i.e. Kryptonian technology, resurrection by Darkseid's superior technology seems to be the most likely avenue. Having Superman just get up out of the grave is the least likely method of having him return to life. – Thaddeus Howze Jul 4 '16 at 1:24
  • Quite a good idea, but mere speculation at this point. All I want to point out is that the whole construction of the end leads us to some 'do not bury him in your minds' assertion. He is not simply dead. It would actually make a lot of sense, though, considering the scene before where Luthor acts as a prophet of Darkseid's arrival. – Philip Klöcking Jul 4 '16 at 1:30
  • One point could be that we actually have seen one regeneration from apparent death before in that very film: after he and Doomsday have been nuked. – Philip Klöcking Jul 4 '16 at 1:47
  • Yeah, can't they just put him in the sun? Seems like the obvious solution. Regardless of how it turns out it feels so contrived and lacking the emotional punch you normally do that for. I didn't shed a tear. – Travis Jul 4 '16 at 4:00
-1

It is being used to say it is the motivation to bring the other heroes together. It may also be used to set up some sort of Rise of the Supermen movie, but more likely the main reason they had Superman die now is so that he can dramatically return at just the right moment. It could also be to kill of the Clark character in general to make him Full-time Superman OR bring him more in line with the Superman of the current comics with his secret identity being Clark White.

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