There's much to juggle here for Singer and for the most part, he rises to the challenge. The mangled, decaying future world is wonderfully realised, and the director can't help but plant some visual and thematic nods to the first two Terminator entries (don't forget, this is a guy who made feature-length homage with 2006's Superman Returns). He also brings a deft touch to the decade in question - the 8mm, Zapruder-like footage capturing mutant action being a particularly nice visual accoutrement. Unfortunately, when it comes to ensuring all the cast members are given breathing space, this proves to be a little more problematic. There's the nagging feeling that Fassbender is a little reined in here, and isn't given enough to work with. It's McAvoy who's the damaged one this time around, getting the lion's share of the dramatically meaty scenes (he's essentially a junkie when we first meet him).
Now an Oscar-winning megastar, Lawrence, quite rightly, sees her role amplified as the moral centrepiece to the film, but it's sometimes difficult for her to shine amongst that heavy body make-up and the acrobatic stunt inserts. Jackman, once again, proves to be the glue that binds, and he effortlessly slips into that growling baritone and striking, sinewy figure. It's heartening to see that he's vital to the plot and not just a cynical tag-on. Impressive for the most part without being awe-inspiring, the film's two timelines converge in a much more satisfying and thrilling ways towards the end, where the emotional stakes are considerably upped. Despite these shortcomings, Singer has succeeded in bringing a satisfying end to this weighty chapter in the X-Men cinematic universe. It's to both the credit of Days of Future Past's creative team and cast that after 14 years, there's still some life left in the mutated franchise.