-> '''Creedy:''' Only one thing worse than a dragon... ''Americans''.

A 2002 [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]] film directed by Rob 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 American 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 UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube, and UsefulNotes/XBox (notable for the [=PS2=] and Xbox versions to get an M rating while the Gamecube version received a T), and another for UsefulNotes/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

!!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: Between the opening scenes and the movie proper, dragons have destroyed about everything.
* AllThereInTheManual: Quinn's last name.
* AmericaSavesTheDay: Puny Brits need American badasses to show them how to be men again. [[spoiler: Subverted in that ''nothing'' goes well for the Americans, they cause the destruction of the castle, many needless deaths with nothing to show for it, Van Zan dies rather spectacularly, Quinn is the one that actually kills the male dragon, and only a handful of Americans are still alive at the end.]]
* 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 anti-hero 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.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Numerous, but most strangely is the fact there seems to be millions of dragons across the entire planet, but only one of them is male.
* 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.
* 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.
* {{BFG}}: A slightly obscure example. Quinn's rifle is an Ulriks Mauser T-Rex, a very rare and expensive Mauser-pattern rifle chambered in .577 Nitro Express, normally used to put down rampaging African elephants. One scene gives a very brief closeup shot of Quinn loading these ''enormous'' rounds into his rifle. With good shot placement, he probably ''could'' kill a regular female dragon. Against the big male, though, the elephant gun does little more than piss him off.
* BigBad: The Male Dragon.
* BigNo: Parodied when the protagonists are acting out a scene from ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' 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!
* BlatantLies: Quinn claims he thought up ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' to the children.
* 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]].
* ContrivedCoincidence: Quinn, the first person to see a dragon in the flesh, which happens to be the bull dragon itself, not only ends up becoming the leader of a group of survivors, but is the one who ultimately kills the bull dragon and saves the world.
* ConvergingStreamWeapon: The dragons shoot two streams of chemicals which collide in mid-air and ignite.
* CoversAlwaysLie: AH-64 Apache helicopters swooping in to combat rampaging dragons? Sorry, not here.
* CurbStompBattle:
** Van Zan completely dominates his brawl with Quinn; Quinn gets a couple good hits in, but Van Zan nearly beats him to death.
** The male dragon wipes out Van Zan's convoy in a single pass, then goes on to destroy Quinn's castle in about ten minutes.
* 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.
* TheDragonsComeBack: The initial trigger of the central plot.
* 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. This is handwaved when Van Zan admits that they're running on fumes.
** Van Zan explains that they flew in on an Air National Guard C-5. While the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is an ''enormous'' plane, they have more vehicles than would fit in a single C-5. Additionally, their tank alone would be too heavy for the C-5 to carry with just two working engines. Granted, the tank is an old British Chieftan (heavily modified, of course), so it's technically possible that they could have found it and their other vehicles in Britain after they landed. However, they have fuel, ammo, and proficiency in operating a very complicated main battle tank, so there's a pretty strong implication that Van Zan's men brought them from America, and that the tank is [[WeaponsUnderstudies supposed to be an M1 Abrams]].
** Played straight, then subverted when the residents of Northumberland Castle draw weapons from their armory to resist a possible attack. They have ''lots'' of rifles, [=SMGs=] (including at least one M1 Thompson), and shotguns. With Britain's very strict gun control laws, one wonders where they obtained enough firepower to equip a medium-sized army. A moment later, though, they discover that their ammunition reserve is critically low, and they have no way to replace what they shoot.
* TheEasyWayOrTheHardWay: Van Zan does the "easy or real easy" variant, though Quinn isn't cowed.
* ElementalBaggage: Averted. The film explains how the dragons create the fire: two glands each produce half of what is called "natural napalm," which when combined, ignites upon contact with the air. Being rather large animals, the dragons are able to breathe fire for more than long enough.
* EyeScream: A mild case -- when Quinn finds the dragon, some of the chemicals responsible for its fire drips into his eyes, turning them 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 what 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... aaand then the dragons appear.
* FeedItABomb: [[spoiler:How the male dragon is killed: shooting an 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."
* 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.
* 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."
* HollywoodTactics: The soldiers in this movie don't seem to have any solution to the dragons other 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. Of course, Alex and Van Zan openly admit that once an Archangel jumps from the helicopter, they have a life expectancy of 17 seconds, so this was probably just a poorer showing than most.
* JustPlaneWrong: You'd really need a lot more support for a helicopter than is seen in the movie.
* 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.
* TheLeader: Quinn to his community, Van Zan to his soldiers.
* LoveInterest: Alex is very quietly the Love Interest to Quinn. It's actually handled nicely, with the love interest being shown to have bloomed after the plot is resolved.
* MeaningfulEcho:
** Early on, Van Zan demands to speak to the person in charge. Everyone turns to Quinn. "Well, that'd be you then." 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."
** Van Zan tells Quinn early on, "I lead, you follow." At the end, as they enter the tunnels, Van Zan tells Quinn "You lead, we follow."
* MonumentalDamage: Quinn looks through old magazines, where the photographers only seemed interested in catching famous landmarks on fire -- the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, etc. The angles are such you wonder how on Earth the photographers made it out to publish their photographs! Later in the film the characters see the actual ruins of the Tower of London, Big Ben, and Tower Bridge.
* TheMountainsOfIllinois: The area around London is shown to be hilly, but in reality it's quite flat.
* MrFanservice: Creator/ChristianBale, Creator/GerardButler, Matthew [=McConaughey=]...they could've called this "Hunks vs Dragons: The Movie", with more emphasis on the hunks than the dragons.
* NeverHeardThatOneBefore: Quinn scoffs at the idea that the Kentucky Irregulars are dragonslayers. "I liked the plane story better. That one's not even original."
* 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? The last part is somewhat handwaved in that this construction worker is implied to be the job site's resident JerkAss.
* NotSoStoic: Van Zan is in visible pain when his comrades are killed.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Izabella Scorupco (Alex, the helicopter pilot) is with an American unit and thus implied to be American, but her Polish-Swedish roots slip into her speech now and then, especially at the end.
* 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. Finally, there is only one male who fertilizes all the eggs of the females like a male salmon.
* 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.
* PunBasedTitle: It's "raining" fire during the dragons' "reign" of fire.
* 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.
* QuickNip: Subverted
-->'''Quinn''': Hey! This is water!
* RealityEnsues:
** Yeah, Van Zan is a badass and all that, but 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]].
** 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.
* RatedMForManly: Matthew [=McConaughey=] in one of his manliest roles ever.
* RedShirt: The skydivers know they've got a limited life expectancy, but that doesn't stop them from dying pointlessly.
* RedShirtArmy: The Kentucky Irregulars as a whole count as this despite posing themselves as badass veteran dragonslayers. [[spoiler:Their entire force killed off in a single attack by the male dragon]].
* RuleOfDrama: Even after proving themselves as competent dragon killers, Quinn is suspicious and distrustful of the Americans, wanting no part in their attempt to solve the dragon problem.
* ShoutOut: The re-enactment of the iconic LukeIAmYourFather scene from ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''. In the post-apocalyptic future, Quinn and Creedy claim authorship to the story and use it to entertain the children.
* SignsOfDisrepair: On the way to London, there's a highway exit sign on which someone has scrawled "NO EXIT" and [[NumberOfTheBeast an extra '6' to make "666".]]
* SleevesAreForWimps: Van Zan.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler: Van Zan]] in the game.
* SpreadingDisasterMapGraphic: Used in the opening to show the dragons destroying the planet.
* SquareCubeLaw: An animal as large as the male dragon would never get airborne, but the designers did attempt to [[ShownTheirWork show their work]] by giving the dragons extremely wide wings even for their size.
* 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?\\
''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.
* TanksButNoTanks: Van Zan's tank is a Chieftan main battle tank used by the British Army in the 60s and 70s, with some cosmetic modifications (including the commander's M2 Browning .50-cal being mocked up to resemble a Russian [=DShK=] for no apparent reason). Averted in that nobody ever actually says anything about the tank, where they got it, or how long they've had it. However, given that the Americans have fuel, ammo, and are proficient in using it, FridgeLogic tells us that it's supposed to stand in for a more modern and capable M1 Abrams.
* TanksForNothing: The Chieftan tank does diddly squat against any dragon.
* TestosteronePoisoning: Matthew [=McConaughey=] plays his character this way. Trivia has it that [=McConaughey=] WRESTLED COWS to get his build for the movie.
* 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 the same counts for everyone) 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 and is killed.
** 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.
* VictoryByEndurance: Quinn's plan at the start of the film is basically to outlast the dragons, whose destructive rampages are unsustainable for their population. The problem, of course, is that said rampages are equally destructive for the humans, so it's down to a contest of who starves first. [[spoiler:Once the male is dead, the prospects for the humans outliving the dragons go up significantly.]]
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Van Zan.
* WatchingTroyBurn: Quinn gets to do this to [[spoiler:the castle after the big male arrives]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Gideon, [[SoleSurvivor the only surviving Archangel]], disappears from the film after having his moment in the spotlight. He is mentioned briefly after that, but we don't know what happened to him.
* 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''. However, Quinn gives him one in return, since they have lost ''hundreds'' of their community to dragons and have ''never'' seen one slain, whilst Van Zan has just arrived and thrown his weight around like he owns the place.
-->'''Van Zan:''' (''magnanimously'') Envy the country that has heroes, eh?\\
''crowd cheers''\\
'''Van Zan:''' (''now in an accusing tone'') And I say ''pity'' the country that ''needs'' 'em! What're y'all celebrating? One dragon down, ''three good men dead''! Why hell, at that rate we just might be gettin' somewhere in about ''three-hundred-and-twenty years''! We'll bury ''our'' dead at dawn. You go on and have you're little...soirée. Personally, you disgust me.
* WholePlotReference: The third act is essentially an homage to the third act of ''Film/{{Jaws}}'', with dragons instead of sharks.
* TheWorldsExpertOnGettingKilled: Van Zan and the Kentucky Irregulars claim to be experienced dragonslayers. In their battle at the castle, they lose three men and need Quinn's help to win. Against the male, they're all burned to a crisp save Van Zan and Alex. Finally, [[spoiler:Van Zan gets eaten in a futile attack against the male after he fails to kill it with the exploding arrow]].
* YouWillKnowWhatToDo: Parodied when Van Zan's convoy turns up on their doorstep.
-->'''Quinn:''' I'm going out. Anything happens, you know what to do.\\
'''Creedy:''' Uh, no, I have no idea.\\
'''Quinn:''' Yeah, me neither.