The start of the film depicts a bank robbery by a group of Cubans. There are nods to The Wild Bunch, with the tough guys waltzing into town and heading straight for a bank with the opposition already ensconced on the roof with guns. The first shot of the film (cinematically) has the camera whimsically tracking a horse as it emerges from the front door of a house and wanders down the main street, a surreal and rather touching sequence. The robbers have been set up and the female US agent, who wasn't in favour of the heist, is the only one left alive to be captured.
Cut to a military barracks in Maryland and two Army men discussing the extraction mission. Deacon (Brett Cullen) is only a month from retirement, with his mind already on the patch of land he owns, 10 'clicks' from the nearest road. His commanding officer has other ideas, which involve retiring him now and sending him on a high risk mission to pluck out the agent. "She gets an urge to go mano a mano with big daddy Fidel."
Deacon is a regular Army officer who has never disobeyed an order in his life. But he doesn't like the look of this particular mission. The soldiers in his team must be irregulars, because the mission must be deniable by the suits in Washington. He picks a platoon of female convicts, lifers with sentences for destroying slaughterhouses, shooting cops, poisoning patients and icing husbands.