X-Men: Apocalypse is the ninth installment in the hugely popular X-men film series. Directed by Bryan Singer with the screenplay by Simon Kingberg, the film features a host of stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, and Rose Bryn, amongst others. They all do a fantastic job in their respective roles, but it is the cutting edge special effects, aided by 3D technology, which makes the movie so enjoyable. The story of X-Men: Apocalypse, which is a sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past, is also unique and elaborate. The amazing mutant super villains are joined by new ones, including the formidable En Sabah Nur, a Mutant Royale, mummified alive in ancient Egypt, who is awakened in year 1983. Nur is disappointed to see the way the world has developed in the two millennia and decides to undo it and start all over again. This God-like creature looks for other powerful mutants to do the job. Nur’s uncontrollable desire to wipe out the human civilisation is an eerie reminder of the destructive and nihilistic mindset of the present day Taliban/ISIS (or earlier movements like Pol Pot in Cambodia). Surprisingly, Nur’s mutant warriors are called “Taliban” (though Taliban did not appear on the scene until the 1990s). Nur’s mission is to fulfill an ancient prophecy: to gather a team of mutants, give them ultimate unimaginable powers and cause the Armageddon. Faced with the alluring gift of extreme power, all but one of the mutant heroes, join him. So much for the Hollywood mutant Taliban! Much has been written about them, but not much literature about our indigenous religious mutants. All we have is some footage of playing football with heads of slain soldiers, stoning to death of immoral women, killing of schoolchildren or massacres in Mosul or Falluja. They have tried their best to hasten the doomsday. Most of our writers or filmmakers are afraid of calling a mutant a mutant. These creatures are mostly found in our own tribal backyard or the ruins of what was once Iraq and Syria. But beware, some mutant apologists are found sitting in our very own parliaments and media houses too. Like Nur, Baghdadi is also looking for helpers in bringing the date of the qiamat forward. Have the Apocalypse now and not let the media anchors wait for too long. The apocalypse seems to be nearing. Majority of our not-so-mutant masses, sadly, have been very confused about the doomsday scenario. In fact some years back, the Nuri lashkar had almost reached the hills of Hazara. Intellectual mutants were finding logic-defying arguments to justify the marauding invaders. When the Taliban came within a striking distance of the Capital, the eyes of the elite and general public finally opened. As long as the blasts happened in far off primitive “ilaqa Ghair”, all was good, but 60 miles from the Capital! That was close. Even then, the mutant analysts pushed for ‘negotiations’ or delay action till next summer or the summer after, and let the killers kill a few thousand more. But like good mutant Xavier and his friends in the movie, a powerful lashkar said ‘enough is enough” and launched the Zarb-e-Azb military operation. The Raheeli Lashkar did what the most powerful war coalition in history could not achieve in Afghanistan, kick out the Taliban. No surprise that many of the mutant analysts have since changed sides, but only when the tide had turned. People follow power, and once the Taliban were on the run, public opinion started to turn the other way. Those, who had their tongues tied, began speaking out. That is the dynamics of power! People started to condemn them openly, and with more confidence. Sabah Nur is defeated in the movie. The mutant Taliban realise that they were being mind-controlled and used for a nefarious purpose, to destroy the world. In our part of the world, victory is not yet complete. Most of the remaining terrorists in Pakistan are foreigners, little pockets here and there. The border fence currently being constructed is indeed an important measure to prevent the cowardly killers from attacking? The best defence against the enemy is to mobilise the masses so that the Nuri ideology cannot hoodwink them. The movie doesn’t end with the annihilation of the evil enemy. In a post-credits scene, men in suits visit the weapon facility to retrieve mutant research data, including an X-ray and a blood sample marked “Weapon X”, on behalf of the Essex Corporation, indicating that a powerful counter-attack is being planned. So we have to be vigilant against our own Sabah Nurs. Next time, Sabah Nur may rise from Capitol Hill…carrying the Trump Corporation logo.