Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Ending Explained – What’s inside the bunker?

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Plot Synopsis

The film is set many years after Caesar’s reign, but we do begin with a brief funeral to confirm his passing. We then jump forward “many generations” and follow our titular characters, in a world completely inhabited by apes.

The story centers on Noa, a chimpanzee from the eagle-orientated ape clan. His father, Koro, has tamed these birds and is revered as the leader of the village. Alongside Noa are his two friends, Anaya and Soona.

As Noa prepares for a coming of age ceremony, collecting eagle eggs from dizzying heights out in the wilderness, his journey brings him into dangerous territory – and encountering a horrific new foe.

Apes sporting masks and parading Caesar’s ideology; Noa finds himself confronting his toughest test yet and it’ll challenge everything he thought he knew about the world. With some big surprises thrown in for good measure.

What is Mae hiding?

It’s soon revealed through the story that Noa’s human stalker happens to be a fully-functional human able of speaking and conversing properly. She’s intelligent and can formulate plans. She knows where the “Masks” (the apes responsible for taking Noa’s clan hostage) are heading. She’s heading there too. And apparently, it’s a human settlement.

As Mae journeys with the others, it’s revealed that the Masks are led by a tyrant by the name of Proximus Caesar (played superby by Kevin Durand I may add). He’s twisted our Caesar’s teachings in such a way that he’s enslaved over primates and forced them into expanding and creating his big empire.

This Kingdom (of apes) happens to be right by the shoreline and there’s a massive wooden barricade set up, keeping the waves at bay. While this in itself is quite the sight to behold, there’s more to this story than first meets the eye.

What’s inside the bunker?

Proximus’ big reason for being on this coastline happens to stem from an ominous bunker. He’s been trying to open it for months, using the workforce of the other primates (and some poor horses too) to try and get the big doors open. Unfortunately, the chains keep breaking. But he uses the mantra of “What a wonderful day” and “together strong” to keep the workforce on their toes and doing his bidding.

Mae happens to know exactly what’s inside this bunker though. There’s human technology that could turn the tide of everything. Tanks, guns and all manner of nasty weaponry that if it got in the hands of Proximus, could tip the balance of power in this world – and not for the better.

How do Noa and the others stop Proximus?

As the film reaches its big crescendo, Noa works with Mae, Anaya and the others to set up explosives around the wooden barricades late at night. The other human under Proximus’ reign happens to be Trevathan and he tries to stop Mae. However, she ends up on his back and chokes him to death.

With Trevathan dead, and the explosives all ready to go, the good guys break into the bunker. Inside, they find all that aforementioned weaponry… and some additional surprises. There are also books here too that confirm what Noa has feared for a while – that humans used to be the more intelligent beings before the Simian Flu hit (at the start of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).

What is Mae’s true purpose for being here?

Naturally, Mae is more than just a stoic female in this film. She’s also the “girl that’s the key to everything” and here, she’s inside the bunker on a secret mission for the humans. Along with knowing a lot more than the other characters, her key component happens to be a modem. Once she finds it, the group open the vault door… and find Proximus there with the other apes.

A bit stand-off ensues, with Noa forced to choose between the life of Mae or Soona. However, Mae speaks up and uses her gun against the apes to take out one of Proximus’ henchman. The big leader is fascinated by this weapon and wants it for himself. 

Mae refuses, and instead rushes over to the explosive switch (which is miraculously untouched, despite being out in the open and right near Proximus). She sets the charges; the dam breaks and water floods the damn. 

What happens to the apes?

With Mae high-tailing it away, only to show up during the epilogue of the film, the apes proceed to climb up the silo as water continues to rise. All of this eventually culminates in a big stand-off at the top of the cliff. 

Noa ascends outside, where he finds his clan terrified and cowering in the presence of Proximus Caesar. He beats down the ape and uses Noa as an example to the others. However, Noa, noticing the eagles circling, starts to chant. The clan join in and the eagles eventually descend down and attack Proximus causing him to fall from the cliff.

The themes aren’t subtle; this is very clearly an allegory to the American Civil Rights struggle and the slavers rising up against their slave owners. The eagles are symbolic of the American symbol for peace (okay they’re not bald eagles here but you get the idea). 

How does Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes end?

The Eagle Clan, now led by Noa, convene back home. They’re going to rebuild a better and stronger settlement than before. Mae is there too, in the distance. She says goodbye to Noa but happens to be holding a gun, tucked behind her back. She still doesn’t trust apes and perhaps never will. Noa meanwhile, clearly doesn’t trust her either but he remembers Raka’s teachings about kindness. As they say goodbye, Noa symbolically hands over Caesar’s necklace, which features his emblem. The same symbol of course, from his very first bedroom window back in Rise.

While Noa rebuilds his home with his ape brethren (and new girlfriend Soona whom he plucks up the courage to ask out), Mae’s ending is far more ominous.

Mae returns to the human settlement with the modem. She hands it over to her human brethren and it turns out, they’re all intelligent and have been working on setting up the satellite system again. The modem is the key, and they manage to make contact with another human group.

This leads nicely into a sequel, potentially titled “Revenge of the humans against the destroyed Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” but that’s a working title and, of course, could be far longer.

Have you watched this movie? What did you think of the ending? Do you have a better titled ending than us? Let us know in the comments below!


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