Set 10 years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past (well, 10 years after the portion that took place in the past at least), X-Men: Apocalypse finds the world in a rather different place. For one, with the existence of mutants revealed, it seems like 10 years has been enough time for the general populous to get used to the idea and, more or less, accept the human-offshoots into daily life.
The question is, after the events of this movie, can normal humans continue to trust mutants? The story starts off when Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne, The Meddler, Bridesmaids), whom we haven't seen since X-Men: First Class, follows a cult into the depths of Cairo and inadvertently causes an ancient mutant named Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) to awaken, and as his name implies, his purpose is to wipe the slate clean and start humanity all over again.
Meanwhile, Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, Wanted) has realized his dream of a school where mutants can live and learn, not only about normal academic matters, but also how to control their powers. When Alex Summers' (Lucas Till, MacGyver) younger brother Scott (Tye Sheridan) manifests mutant abilities, Cyclops' iconic Optic Blasts, young Scott is enrolled in Xavier's school where he not only meets Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult, Mad Max: Fury Road, Warm Bodies), but also Jean Grey (Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones). At about the same time, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games), who has been in hiding since the events 10 years before, also brings a new mutant to the school, the teleporting blue-devil, Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee, ParaNorman, Dawn of the Plane of the Apes).
Everyone is pretty surprised when Mystique shows up, but she found it necessary when she learned some interesting news, Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender, Inglourious Basterds, Prometheus) has also come out of hiding. The Master of Magnetism has spent the past decade keeping his head down in Poland where he has built a life that includes a wife and daughter. When Apocalypse's awakening causes earthquakes around the world, Erik is forced to reveal himself and, well let's just say it doesn't go well for anyone involved.
Interestingly enough, when news breaks that Magneto is no longer in hiding, Peter Maximoff (Evan Peters, Kick-Ass), Erik's illegitimate son, takes notice and decides to use his superspeed to get to the Xavier School in order to find out what he can do to help.
As for Apocalypse, after examining the modern world that grew up around him, he feels the world is long overdue for a cleansing and it's time to choose a new set of Four Horsemen to act as his lieutenants in his efforts. The first mutant he convinces to join him is a young Storm (Alexandra Shipp, Straight Outta Compton). This street urchin's ability to control the weather only adds to Apocalypse's growing strength, and when the pair find a telepathic/telekinetic mutant named Psylocke (Olivia Munn, Attack of the Show!), they also gain knowledge of an underground network whose purpose is to hide mutants. From there, Apocalypse finds and recruits a wounded Angel (Ben Hardy, EastEnders) and transforms the mutant's broken wings into the iconic technowings of Archangel. Apocalypse has just one more Horseman to gather before he can start his plans to reshape the world, and after a brief history lesson, he has a particular mutant in mind.
X-Men: Apocalypse comes packed with special features. While it contains the standard fare in gag reels, commentaries and deleted or extended scenes, it also contains a massive gallery containing both stills from the filming and concept art that touches on characters and locations. There is even a massive featurette that is broken up into six parts. This lengthy extra touches on the history of Apocalypse as a character, the cult that the film creates to resurrect him, as well as casting the new younger versions of the X-Men and the visual effects, plus where the franchise could go next. There really is a lot of information here for anyone interested.
X-Men: Apocalypse, being the sixth (or eighth, if you count the Wolverine movies) movie in the franchise ends up in a really odd place. While the film acts as a prequel to the original 2000 film, because of the events in Days of Future Past, not everything that happens from that film forward necessarily has to lead up to the original movie. That being said, it also does a great job of keeping as many details consistent across all the movies. It will be interesting to see how any future X-Men films either take advantage of the ability to break away from the events of the other films, or conform to them. Either way, Apocalypse is a fun popcorn flick that is far from the worst this series has had to offer - I'm looking at you The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.