‘Heart Of The Hunter’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: Is Malime Dead?

The new action thriller movie Heart of the Hunter, adapted from the gripping novel by Deon Meyer, is set against South Africa’s political landscape as the nation stands on the brink of monumental change with the rise of Mtima to the presidency. Here we can see the conspiracy of the about-to-be president and how he is a threat meant to drive the country into darkness. But Johnny Klein and his devoted team of allies work together to expose these conspiracies to eradicate injustice from the land of Azania, even if it means putting their lives in danger. As Johnny and his comrades fight to uncover the truth, they inspire hope in the hearts of all who dare to dream of a better tomorrow. Will they be successful in their mission? Let’s find out! 


Spoilers Ahead

How Did Johnny Klein Die? 

We meet Johnny Klein, an esteemed international lawyer who found himself demoted when he stumbled upon damning evidence of Mtima, a soon-to-be president, in terrible crimes including murder and adultery. Obviously, he was not ready to let such corruption slide! Thus, Johnny embarked on a mission to protect Azania’s future with his trusted allies: Zuko, Naledi, Thandiwe Makeba, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and others who shared his commitment to their homeland. Both Johnny and Makeba have formed an elite assassin group named Alkebulan to run a counterintelligence operation aimed at taking down Mtima. Their work is no joke, as it often requires them to kill people. Would you call them killers or warriors? However, their noble cause did not go unnoticed by the authorities and Mtima’s men, who tried to silence Johnny and his team to protect their agenda. We are all too familiar with how powerful and corrupt politicians often engage in such deeds. As the police tried to hunt Johnny down, he put his trust in Zuko, who had the duty of upholding their mission. But Zuko’s determination weakened, and he got himself out of this life after he killed Mtima’s henchmen before his little boy.


Meanwhile, we see how Johnny approached Mike Bressler, a fearless journalist known for his exposés on Mtima’s dark dealings. Desperate to ensure the success of their mission, Johnny pleaded with Zuko not to forget their cause and reminded him of their shared oath to protect Azania at all costs. He revealed a crucial plan to leak hidden documents to expose Mtima from the birthplace of Alkebulan, Maseru, which Mtima does not know about. But when the police noticed their secret meeting, Zuko became their next target. In the meantime, they started following Johnny, who, feeling the pressure of their mission, faced a tough decision. He ended up taking his own life, sacrificing himself. After Johnny’s death, Zuko struggled with his mentor’s legacy but eventually decided to carry on their mission. He promised to reveal the truth and protect Azania, even if it put him in danger.

How Did Malime Die? 

After Johnny’s death, Zuko becomes the new target for Mtima and the private security company that works for him, named Ingwe. Despite his intention to leave that assassin’s life behind, Zuko feels that he has to finish the mission. He says goodbye to Malime, his soon-to-be wife, and her son, Paka. At the airport, just as Zuko is about to leave for Maseru, the police try to arrest him. Zuko fights them off and escapes by disguising himself. Meanwhile, Mo, who works for Mtima, kidnaps Malime to interrogate her. Mo’s loyalty to Mtima comes from her father’s involvement in apartheid opposition groups, which Mtima views as traitorous. This loyalty forces Mo to follow Mtima’s orders, even though she knows how corrupt he is and the danger he poses to the country. But little did Mo know that one of their own, Naledi, is also an activist working with Zuko and Johnny. Naledi informs Zuko about everything and tries to help Malime escape. Naledi tells Zuko they must fight for Alkebulan to be true to their oath and complete their mission. However, when Naledi tries to pass this information to Zuko, other Ingwe members catch her. Naledi fights them off and tries to escape with Malime. Sadly, Malime falls from the building while they try to escape, leaving Naledi devastated.


Who Killed Mtima? 

Mo faced constant pressure from Mtima to capture Zuko and prevent him from exposing Mtima’s corruption before his presidency. When Mo discovered Thandiwe Makeba’s involvement in the mission through security footage showing her connection to Johnny, she visited Makeba’s house to get information about Zuko’s whereabouts and what he has on Mtima. However, Makeba remained silent. And you know what happened? You guessed it right! Mo killed her! Meanwhile, Zuko went to Maseru, battling the police left and right, risking his life to reach his homeland, where the crucial documents were hidden. Taking the documents, he decided to give them to journalist Mike Bressler, knowing he was the only person who could help in their mission. Zuko met with Naledi as well and learned about the tragic death of his fiancée. You can imagine how devastated he felt! She was the love of his life, and because of her, he gave up the life of an assassin to build a future with her. Realizing that his son, Paka, might be in danger, Zuko tried to rescue him. He stormed Mtima’s house, killing his men with a spear. Mtima, in desperation, called for Mo and his son. But you won’t believe what happened next! Mo decided enough was enough; she had to escape this misery. She shot Mtima with a gun, completely out of the blue. However, she wasn’t keen on letting Zuko go either. She tried to kill him as well, because he knew too much. Just as she was about to pull the trigger on Zuko, Naledi intervened and shot Mo from behind instead.

In the end, things turned out right. Mtima’s presidency ended, not just because he died but because his corruption was exposed. Azania was safe again, all thanks to Zuko’s successful mission. With his son beside him, Zuko went back to his homeland, Maseru, hoping for a fresh start, leaving his past behind. The mystery behind Mo and Mtima’s deaths did not come to light. So for now, Zuko wasn’t under suspicion. As he looked to the future, Zuko felt a mix of uncertainty and hope. Maybe this time, he could truly leave his assassin days behind. But he also knew that if his country needed him, he’d answer the call. Only time would tell which path he’d take, but one thing was sure—Zuko’s loyalty to his cause would shape whatever came next.


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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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