Oh, don't get me wrong -- I found STID's use of city devastation gratuitous and superficial, but it was a minor problem in the film, nothing compared to the offensive excess and shallowness of Man of Steel
's climax. I'm certainly not saying they're on a par. MoS's city-wrecking orgy ruined the film for me, but STID's more restrained use of the trope was just a minor annoyance.
As for Pacific Rim
, I haven't actually seen it yet, but from what I know, it's different because it's a pastiche of a genre that's all about that kind of destruction (Godzilla/daikaiju films), and because the filmmakers made a point of establishing that the cities were evacuated first, so it didn't have MoS's sheer obliviousness toward civilian casualties.