[[quoteright:228:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reign_of_fire_9813.bmp]]

-> '''[[TheHero Quinn]]:''' [[UnspokenPlanGuarantee Anything happens, you know what to do.]]
-> '''[[TheLancer Creedy]]:''' Eh, no, I have no idea.
-> '''Quinn:''' Me neither.

A 2002 [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]] film directed by [[Film/TheXFilesFightTheFuture Rob]] [[Film/{{Elektra}} Bowman]].

In [[NextSundayAD 2008]], 12 year old Quinn Abercromby, stumbles upon a sleeping dragon recently unearthed at a construction site in London. Said dragon then awakens, and proceeds to decimate the construction site and kill everyone present, except for young Quinn. Before long more dragons hatch and proceed to multiply across the face of the Earth at an exponential rate, burning human civilization as they go. Paris is burnt to the ground, attacks in Kenya kill dozens of people, [[NukeEm until the humans just decide to nuke the dragons out of existence.]] [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Unfortunately, this backfires, and rather than killing the dragons it ends up]] [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt wiping out human civilization as we know it.]]

Years later, Quinn (Creator/ChristianBale) is the leader of a small band of surviving humans living in an English castle. The people hope to survive by keeping their heads down until the dragons run out of food, and starve themselves to death, as fossil evidence in Antarctica suggests they had before. Unfortunately a dragon follows some of the people back to the village and burns their crops. Days later, a band of professional dragon hunters, led by Denton Van Zan (Creator/MatthewMcConaughey) and Alex Jensen, come to the village. After killing the dragon that burned the crops, Van Zan reveals that [[OurDragonsAreDifferent all of the dragons seen in the world are female, and there is only one male, who fertilizes the females' eggs like a salmon.]] If this dragon can be slain, the dragons will be unable to reproduce.

Received two {{Licensed Game}}s, one for the PlayStation2, NintendoGamecube, and XBox (notable for the PS2 and Xbox versions to get an M rating while the Gamecube version received a T), and another for GameBoyAdvance. Both has the player as either a human or a maturing dragon. And by the way, in the GBA version, the dragons were able to talk (!?!)

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!!This movie provides examples of:

* AchillesHeel: The dragons can't see well in the light of dawn and dusk.
* ActionDuo: Quinn is the ActionSurvivor, Van Zan the ActionHero. This puts them at loggerheads for much of the film.
* ActionGirl: She's not that over the top an example, but in the final confrontation Alex is no less competent than Van Zan or Quinn.
* AfterTheEnd
* AllThereInTheManual: Quinn's last name.
* AmericaSavesTheDay: Puny Brits need American badasses to show them how to be men again. [[spoiler: Subverted in that they cause the destruction of the castle, many needless deaths with nothing to show for it, Van Zan dies rather spectacularly, and Quinn is the one that actually kills the male dragon.]]
* AnAxeToGrind: Van Zan's hideous looking axe that he uses to finish off the dragons they shoot down.
* {{Antihero}}: Van Zan. Depending on how you look at it Quinn might count as an antihero for much of the film.
* ApocalypseHow: Class 2 (fall of civilization) with the possibility of it growing into a Class 3 apocalypse (human extinction) if the dragons outlast the humans. The survivors begin to rebuild after the dragons are defeated, bringing it closer to a Class 1 event. Shades of Class 4, due to the humans' and dragons' mutual success in devastating the biosphere.
* ApocalypticLog: As the introducing voice over explains what happened after the first dragon awakens, we see a newspaper montage covering different stages of the dragon apocalypse, from the first scientific articles to the war itself. A nib pen, presumably Quinn's, scratches out a message to his adopted son.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The entire "skydiving with a metal net to make a dragon fall to its death" tactic the Americans use. Talk about going around the world to get across the street.
** The Chieftain tank -- its {{BFG}} is good for intimidating settlements, not so for blowing up flying creatures.
* {{Badass}}: Van Zan. Quinn. Alex. The Male Dragon.
** BadassBoast: "There's nothing magical about them; they're flesh and blood. You remove the heart, you bring down the beast!" Also, after being told that the sky is the dragon's territory; "No, that's ''my territory''. That's your territory. They're just renting it."
* BaldOfAwesome: Van Zan and Gideon.
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: Gideon, the lead Archangel. Unusually for this trope, he has a sense of humour.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted. Alex and the other girls get every bit as beaten up as the boys.
* BigBad: The Male Dragon.
* BigNo: Parodied when the protagonists are acting out StarWars as a play.
-->[[LargeHam The Black Knight stares through the holes in his mask]], and says; "I [breathes heavily] am your father!"
-->'''White Knight:''' NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!
-->'''Watching kids:''' YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAH!
* TheChainsOfCommanding: Being TheHero sucks. Just ask Quinn about it. He's responsible for an entire community, has to make hugely unpopular decisions for the good of everyone, and honestly has no real clue what he's doing. The reason he's in charge? Because someone has to be and everyone agrees he is. No wonder he's [[PassingTheTorch training Jared to take over]].
* ConvergingStreamWeapon: The dragons shoot two streams of chemicals which collide in mid-air and ignite.
* CurbStompBattle: The male dragon wipes out Van Zan's convoy in a single pass.
** Not close to the same level, but Van Zan himself completely dominates his brawl with Quinn; Quinn gets a couple good hits in, but Van Zan nearly beats him to death.
* DeathFromAbove: Dragons to people, Archangels to dragons.
* DefiantToTheEnd: Van Zan. "Come on big boy!"
* DoingInTheWizard: How the dragons make fire, via a reaction of two chemicals similar to a bombardier beetle.
* DragonHoard: When the young Quinn first stumbles into where the dragon is hibernating the walls are covered by Pyrite...or possibly gold. We didn't get long to look at it before all the burning and the death starts.
* TheDragonslayer: Van Zan (and his fellow Americans) are all specialists in slaying dragons. They have knowledge of the dragons' weaknesses and exploit these with a range of specialized equipment, including a tank and a helicopter which can drop troops onto flying dragons to force them to land.
* DugTooDeep: How the Dragons were awakened.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: He may not inflict any damage, but the way [[spoiler:Van Zan]] goes out is still awesomely {{Badass}}.
* EasyLogistics: Despite the complete collapse of human society, an entire armoured division is able to still support itself. You have to wonder how much fuel they expended just to get to Britain in a world where presumably there is no more oil extraction.
** Though by Van Zan's own admission, they're essentially running on fumes by the time they show up at Quinn's castle.
* ElementalBaggage: Averted. The film explains how the dragons create the fire: two glands produce "natural napalm," which ignites upon contact with the air.
* MrFanservice: Creator/ChristianBale, Creator/GerardButler, Matthew [=McConaughey=]...they could've called this "Hunks vs Dragons: The Movie", with emphasis more on the hunks than the dragons.
* EyeScream: A mild case - Quinn gets a faceful of the dragon's fire fuel when he first discovers them, which makes his eyes turn blood red.
* ExpandedUniverse: The video game of the movie shows juvenile dragons, who are ground-dwelling creatures looking rather like dinosaurs.
* FakeOutOpening: The film starts with twelve-year-old Quinn meeting up with his mother on the construction site where she works. We learn fhat Quinn's lost a 3000-a-year scholarship and that his (presumably wealthy) father is no longer in the picture, and for a minute it looks as though the film's going to be a serious picture about Quinn and his mother struggling to make ends meet... Aaaand then the dragons appear.
* FeedItABomb: [[spoiler:How the male dragon is killed: shooting explosive-wrapped crossbow bolt into its wide open mouth.]]
* FinalBoss: The male dragon, whose defeat spells the end of the entire species.
* GoodIsNotNice: Van Zan. Quinn can look this way to certain members of his community. As Creedy puts it "I'm your best friend. And some days, even I don't like you."
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Van Zan is heading there at a rapid pace. To quote Alex after his fight with Quinn: "He would have killed you. He doesn't feel things. It's the only way he can do what he does."
* TheHero: Quinn to the castle community and the film.
* HeroKiller: The big male, who is the original dragon and responsible for the death of Quinn's mother. When Van Zan tells Quinn about him, Quinn is visibly scared, and even Van Zan (the man who will take on a dragon with a chopper and a harpoon gun) wants a small army with him when he goes hunting for it. It even has the reputation you'd expect: Quinn relates an incident wherein a group from Pembery went to London and disturbed him, resulting in 90 deaths and the destruction of the castle. The male subsequently goes on to wipe out Van Zan's army, [[spoiler: burn the castle down, killing AJ and Creedy in the process]], cannibalise several of his own and [[spoiler: kill Van Zan]]. On top of all that, his vast size makes him the only dragon that's easily distinguishable and recognisable.
* HollywoodTactics: the soldiers in this movie don't seem to have any solution to the dragons than MoreDakka.
* InformedAbility: The Archangel's ability to take down dragons in mid-air is hyped up, but when shown in action it fails horribly with most of them killed.
* KeystoneArmy: There is only one male dragon. Kill him and the entire species dies out.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Eddie, Barlow, AJ, Creedy, Van Zan]]
* TheLancer: Creedy to Quinn.
* LargeAndInCharge: The big male is at least three or four times the size of the females, possibly far more.
* LoveInterest: Alex is very quietly the Love Interest to Quinn.
* MeaningfulEcho: Early on Van Zan demands to speak to the person in charge. Everyone turns to Quinn. "Well, that'd be you then." The line isn't said again, but a constant theme of the movie is the community's dependence on Quinn as the leader. At the end, Jared rides up to inform Quinn that they have a message from France, and that "They want to speak to the person in charge." Quinn by this point can safely look at his protege and say, "Well, that'd be you then."
* NeverTrustATrailer: The poster showed dragons attacking London, and coming in contact with the human military, implying that it's an ''Film/IndependenceDay''-style invasion movie. The movie's actually set AfterTheEnd.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Van Zan starts to administer one to Quinn, but they are dragged apart.
* NoOSHACompliance: In the opening scene none of the workers display any objection to a child (Quinn) entering a construction site without any protective gear. When their digging hits an unexpected cave, one of the workers even suggests Quinn go take a look inside. To top the stupidity off, once Quinn comes rushing out of there, the same worker keeps saying "It's not safe!" If it's not safe, why the hell did you have a child go in there?
* NotSoStoic: Van Zan is in visible pain when his comrades are killed.
* QuickNip: Subverted
-->'''Quinn''': Hey! This is water!
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Oh, so different. They have only four limbs, connected by a bat-like membrane of skin like a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyvern Wyvern]].; they breathe fire through a chemical reaction; and there is only one male who fertilizes all the eggs of the females like a male salmon.
** The first point was likely a ShoutOut to ''Film/{{Dragonslayer}}'' and its villain, Vermithrax Pejorative. Also for a more realistic look for the dragons (considering that there are no and have never been vertebrates with more than four limbs), along with the napalm-like fire.
* ParentalAbandonment: Quinn, Jared, and likely most of the kids in the community have lost their parents.
* ParentalSubstitute: Quinn to Jared, a boy he rescued from a destroyed town.
* PassingTheTorch: Quinn's objective with Jared, who he is training as his replacement.
* PermaStubble: Van Zan
* PhlebotinumKilledTheDinosaurs: It was the ''dragons'' who killed the dinosaurs.
* PyrrhicVictory: The first time we see Van Zan's dragonslayers in action, things go horribly wrong and he loses three men to bring down one dragon. It's implied that while their strategy doesn't always go to plan, this particular outing was an especially poor showing.
* ProperlyParanoid: Quinn and Creedy's concerns about Van Zan aren't too far off.
* RealityEnsues: Yeah, Van Zan is a badass and all that, but come on people, no-one is going to survive [[spoiler: leaping through the air from the top of a high tower, at an 80ft dragon, with nothing but an axe, when it's heading right for you]].
** Speaking of, Van Zan vs. Quinn. Quinn's an ActionSurvivor while Van Zan's a trained soldier; Quinn may have the righteous anger of a PapaWolf defending his people from being seduced by a GeneralRipper, but ends up on the receiving end of a CurbStompBattle all the same.
* RedShirt: The skydivers know they've got a limited life expectancy.
* ShoutOut: The re-enactment of the Star Wars scene. In the post-apocalyptic future, Star Wars has apparently become legend (and one of the few entertaining memories/stories available to members of the camp).
* SleevesAreForWimps: Van Zan.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Van Zan in the game.
* SpreadingDisasterMapGraphic
* SurvivalMantra: The children's prayer is actually a list of survival instructions and psychological prepping.
-->What do we do when we wake?\\
''[[DeathFromAbove Keep both eyes on the sky]].''\\
What do we do when we sleep?\\
''[[SleepWithOneEyeOpen Keep one eye on the sky]].''\\
What do we do when we see 'em?\\
''Dig hard, dig deep, [[RunOrDie run for shelter]], '''never look back'''.''
* TankGoodness: The tank Van Zan's crew has with them causes noticeable concern among Quinn and his community.
* TestosteronePoisoning: Matthew [=McConaughey=] plays his character this way. Trivia has it, that [=McConaughey=] WRESTLED COWS to get his build for the movie.
** Trivia also has it that, after several failed attempts at a scripted fight between Van Zan and Quinn, the two actors decided to simply beat the snot out of each other for real.
* TooDumbToLive: Eddie, a member of Quinn's community. First he tries to pick the crop out of season (admittedly it's because he has starving kids, but still...) attracting a dragon in the process and costing them half their crop. Later on, he joins up with Van Zan's doomed raid on London.
** His children seem to have inherited that same lack of IQ, as one when rescued by Quinn in the fireproof trucks, decides to stand in the exposed turret without a protective suit and thus gets barbecued.
** Van Zan's whole paratrooper approach to fighting dragons (because falling helplessly through the air, vulnerable to attack from any side is the best way to fight giant, flying, fire-breathing monsters)
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Van Zan.
* WatchingTroyBurn: Quinn gets to do this to [[spoiler:the castle after the big male arrives]].
* WhatTheHellHero: Van Zan tears the brits a new one when they throw a party; to them, they're celebrating the death of the dragon that had devastated their food supply. To him, they're celebrating the death of one dragon and ''three of his men''.
* WholePlotReference: The third act is essentially an homage to the third act of ''{{Jaws}}'', with dragons instead of sharks.
* YouWillKnowWhatToDo: Parodied when Van Zan's convoy turns up on their doorstep.
-->'''Quinn:''' I'm going out. Anything happens, you know what to do.
-->'''Jared:''' Er... no.
-->'''Quinn:''' Yeah, me neither.
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