20th Century Fox          2 hours 27 minutes               PG-!3

You can’t tell the players without a score card. It’s been 2 years since the last X-Men: Days of Future Past and 16 years since Singer launched the first X-Men movie. It would be good to see the last episode before you tackle all these characters and the mega special effects thrown at you in this one. Talk about super powers. It’s amazing the cast didn’t blow themselves up trying with all the emotion and pain they had to rack up in front of the green screen!

This is kind of a train wreck that builds to a big finale. Each character not only has at least two names, but two looks and changes from good to evil and back again a few times. It’s complicated and confusing. Mutants are being thrown all over the place.

This is a throwback to another time. The worshipped and immortal Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac, is shown as the very first, most powerful mutant. He summons as many as he can to build a new world, with himself at the top. His recruits include the depressed Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender and other mutants. There is plenty of intensity in their characterizations with tons of flash in their flying and floating around to keep you wondering what’s happening why and who’s going to survive the immortal Apocalypse’s attempts to transfer all of the character’s of their superpowers to keep for himself. The monster wants to wipe the slate clean and build his own new world. Oscar Isaac’s costume is pretty ugly and scary. He’s completely covered. You will not recognize him.

Will Earth survive? That’s when Professor X, played by James McAvoy and Raven, truly blue, off and on, and played by Jennifer Lawrence, gather and lead a team of young X-Men to help stop the powerful, weird Apocalypse from destroying mankind.

The film opens with what might be kind of a 10 Commandments, Cleopatra, grand scale gathering around the pyramid in Egypt circa 3600 BC where Apocalypse is going to gain all that power. That scene is incredibly huge and organized. But when the ceremony gets interrupted, destruction and mayhem ensue for a cast of thousands. It’s frantic and continues to get even more unglued from there. Who is against who and in what guise using what power? Younger versions of the mutants appear as new kids on the block, like Tye Sheridan (Mud) as Scott Summers/Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp (Straight Out of Compton) as Storm, and Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones). They are just beginning to realize they HAVE powers, let alone how to use them and it takes the whole film for them to figure out how to make any use of them at all.

Telepathic original X-Men Professor of the School for Gifted Children, Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy, is there along with Hank McCoy/Beast, played by Nicholas Hoult, who has been working on developing a new combat plane which figures in the mix.

Many of the characters you remember are now played by someone else.

Olivia Munn as Psylocke, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse is telepathic and has Ninja skills. Mann says she had a blast doing as many of her own stunts as the filmmakers would let her. She looks great in that costume, and so do the other mutants, but that doesn’t help make the plot or make this battle-weary mess any better.

And it’s reported that Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique, originally played by Rebecca Romijn, did not appear in her blue getup throughout because the actress was not fond of wearing that suit. She was lukewarm when asked about appearing as the character agai, saying, if it works with her schedule and they pay her, she’d do it.

Because there are so many characters in the film, some are given short shrift. Sophie Turner as Jean Grey literally gets pretty much kissed off. Storm, Nicholas Hoult and others aren’t in very long.

And just because Hugh Jackman has been in every other X-Men movie, was it really necessary to have him in this one? He comes out of nowhere with very little purpose. It seemed very out of context.

Is this worth your bucks? If you’re a true X-Men fanatic, have seen the previous movies, and know who the characters are, you may be intrigued. Singer already has more of the franchise he’s directed on the way. You may have wanted to see this one played out differently and in a shorter period of time. It’s long! There are way too many characters Singer had to work in and not enough story. It’s been likened to a Michael Bay extravaganza with so many fiery explosions and all the massive destruction. You may feel the tension build as you’re sitting there, but not really know why. It’s a blockbuster that’s also a head scratcher.