- Alternate Character Interpretation: In the 2014 movie, following popular Fanon. In the book, Kira's death was (probably) an accident during botched kidnapping by Don Reba's men. In the movie, the death was an assassination by Arata in order to sick Rumata at Don Reba's soldiers. It worked a little bit too well—Rumata slaughtered a whole bunch of soldiers and courtiers, and also Arata himself. Although who knows—Arata might consider his own life a reasonable price for overthrowing Reba.
- Complete Monster: Don Reba is a thoroughly despicable Smug Snake of a minister, who personifies everything wrong about humanity. He framed the former Prime Minister for treachery and tortured him to death, along with the whole cabinet; he declares everybody literate (and not noble) enemy of the state; he starts wars for petty revenge; he stages a Coup d'Etat, and when it succeeds, he kills his co-conspirators; finally, he tries to kidnap The Hero's Love Interest, which backfires horribly, leading to the Downer Ending.
- Fanon: A popular fan theory about the ending states that Reba had nothing to gain from tangling with Rumata once again. On the other hand, there was a certain Rebel Leader well known for being willing to do whatever has to be done to turn this Crapsack World slightly less crappy. He did state that Rumata would have to take a stance for him or against him, after all.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Russian critics had mixed feelings about the 2014 movie, while critics from English-speaking countries viewed the film much more favorably.
- Nausea Fuel: The Dung Ages aspect of the setting is played to sickening levels in the 2014 film. One of the very first scenes has a couple of Greys smearing feces on their faces, and it only gets worse from there.
- Nightmare Fuel: The purges of intellectuals carried out by the Grey Stormtroopers, especially when they were this close to having a Renaissance.
- Too Dumb to Live: Pretty much everyone in the finale. To list:
- Rumata evacuates Dr. Budach, but not his lover Kira, even though he had already antagonised the dreaded Don Reba.
- Unless the above fanon theory is correct, Don Reba sends a bunch of trigger-happy morons on a kidnapping mission and doesn't instruct them to first check if Rumata is there and GTFO if he is.
- Kira decides to stand at an open window and enjoy the view of an angry mob outside, and Rumata allows her to do that.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: One part of the problem with German's adaptation. Even setting aside the nauseating level of naturalism, it's very hard to make sense of what is going on.
YMMV / Hard to Be a God