YMMV / Superman vs. the Elite

  • Better Than Canon: Widely preferred to the comic book story it's based on.
  • Ear Worm: The music in the opening credits.
  • Faux Symbolism: More subtle than most with the Superman-as-Christ symbolism, but Clark tells Lois that someone has to show them that killing and violence is not the right answer at any cost. Lois responds that it means dying for them to understand.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Superman's disapproval of the Elite's means in light of Injustice: Gods Among Us which has an alternate Superman using similar methods after a Face–Heel Turn after the Joker tricked him into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child, which in turn led to Metropolis being nuked. The fact that George Newbern reprised the role again in the game adds to the harshness. Not only that, but Newbern did it in the voice of one of the most well-known examples of Fallen Hero ever: Sephiroth.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: You may assume that Supes is faking it as Status Quo Is God, but thanks to the acting and writing, you really do believe Superman's snapped.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Superman. He proves Good Is Not Dumb when he fakes turning violent against the Elite. He proves to be a Consummate Liar and has dozens of civilians to who are in on the act to make it more convincing while having dozens of robots around to make sure it only looks like his fight with the Elite is killing people.

  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • You can sympathize with the Elite's motivation during the whole movie, due to Strawman Has a Point. Even after they try to kill Superman, you can, to an extent, feel sorry for them due to how Superman apparently reacts. However, Black does cross it when he explicitly states his intention to obliterate the city in order to escape Superman's wrath.
    • Menagerie crosses it in her very first scene by having her parasitic monsters eat an innocent dog alive (offscreen) simply for barking at her.
    • This is also what Superman believes he would cross over if he behaved like the Elite do. And judging by Injustice: Gods Among Us, he's right. Thankfully, nothing about Injustice is even remotely in canon, or in character for that matter.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Adult Vera. She only appears briefly to hand secret info to Lois.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Like the story it's based on, the film seemingly hand-waved the ideal that killing is wrong regardless of how justified within the first half, but later on when Superman pretends to adopt the take-no-prisoners approach, everyone's initial reaction was "This isn't right". The true anvil was that society does not always know what's best for it and that they need guidance, not the threat of punishment to progress.
  • Squick: Menagerie's urges towards promiscuity combined with the nature of her superpowers.
    • Superman defeats Menagerie by shooting her with a poison dart.... causing all the alien creatures inside her body to claw violently out of her, stopping her heart from the shock.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Manchester Black may be a Well-Intentioned Extremist lambasted by Superman for his unethical and amoral methods, but it's also shown that some of his questionable actions have prevented worse harm in the future.
    Manchester Black: People don't want babysitters in spandex to spank them when they're bad. They want surgeons to cut out the cancers that fester in us and make sure they never come back.
    • He also points out that despite Superman's disapproval of lethal force, he still supports a system that has no such qualms.
      Superman: You can't murder people and call yourselves heroes!
      Manchester Black: Why not? Your government does it all the time.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A lot of fans dislike the change of Superman actually depowering the Elite (he only had them imprisoned in the comic), as they felt it kinda went against his point.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The Elite fall into this for some, for their Hypocrite moments (e.g., even while they're still Anti-Heroes instead of the Big Bads, they're already okay with things like torturing innocent animals (see Menagerie's entry under Moral Event Horizon) and enslaving an innocent Genius Loci as their ship). And their Smug Snake demeanors throughout the movie don't help, either.