X-Men: Apocalypse [2016] gathers all the X-Men we know and love to battle one of the best and most dangerous villains the team has ever fought: Apocalypse. With the rise of this threat, Professor Xavier and Mystique gather up the young students of the school to join forces to save the world. Apocalypse and his new Four Horsemen challenge this new team of X-Men in one of the best films of the saga.

A New and Better Team:  Due to some unforeseen circumstances the X-Men grow from that team of unknowns in First Class to the team we all love from the 90s cartoon and original three X-Men films. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Storm, Beast and Quicksilver all join forces to establish an incredibly fun and young team of X-Men.  The actors and actresses do so well in this film that it is hard to remember the performances from the original films. The new blood on the team provides some excitement for the next several X-Men films. It is especially worthy to point out the near perfect performances of Tye Sheridan as Cyclops and Sophie Turner as Jean Grey.

Brilliant Thrills:  There are some amazingly executed scenes in this film that make your hair stand on end. Magneto, Quicksilver, and Jean Grey all have some of the most jaw-dropping moments in the film.  Past X-Men films have always been able to deliver great moments for their characters but X-Men: Apocalypse delivers a fresh tone for the audience.  This film is dark and gritty with plenty of mature themes. All that adds up to one of the most thrilling comic book films in recent memory.

No More Trilogy Curse:  Even though this is the 7th or 8th film in the X-Men saga (completing depends on if you count the two Wolverine films and the Deadpool movie), Apocalypse completes this new trilogy that started with First Class.  And unlike most final films in a trilogy, Apocalypse blows right past the curse and soars to being the strongest of the trilogy instead of the weakest.

Too Much Going On:  Apocalypse has to juggle a lot but with a story arc like this it is necessary.  However, that does not mean it always worked out the way director Bryan Singer wanted. The film has to establish Apocalypse and his master plan. At times, this is done very well with visuals but in other instances, it is done through very poor dialogue. Magneto’s private life is explored yet again in this film but it proves to just drive the plot for him to become one of the Horsemen. Then the whole team seems to need some more backstory which is only taking away from getting to the action of the film.

Declining Chemistry:  Since the dawn of the X-Men saga, the central focus has been the struggle between Magneto and Professor Xavier. These are two Marvel titans and they provide the moral compass of mutants in the universe. However, this latest installment felt like the most weak as far as the chemistry between the two men. Their conversations have been through the rinse and repeat cycle for many years but it has just now become a bit dull.  Even Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Mystique rapidly declined in this film making it her worst in the saga.  She just did not seem to care as much as she did in Days of Future Past.

X-Men: Apocalypse has a great new team that will make the future sequels a reason to keep spending money on the continuing saga.  But that will ultimately require a reshaping of chemistry within the films.