In a Paris caf , an Irish woman named Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) meets five men, taking them to a warehouse and briefing them on a mission. The men, Spence (Sean Bean), Larry (Skipp Sudduth), Gregor (Stellan Skarsg rd), Vincent (Jean Reno) and Sam (Robert De Niro), are all former special forces soldiers or intelligence operatives now working as mercenaries. The team will attack a heavily-armed convoy and steal a suitcase, its contents unknown (a MacGuffin). Following the briefing, the team begins assembling their equipment. Deirdre meets with her handler Seamus (Jonathan Pryce), who reveals that Russian gangsters are bidding for the case and that the team must act quickly to intercept it. Later at the warehouse, Spence is exposed as a fraud and is summarily released from the team, who then depart for Nice, where for the next several days they observe the convoy and plan an ambush. The team engages the convoy and pursue the survivors through the surrounding highways in the country. After a lengthy car chase and gun battle, they successfully obtain the case, but Gregor betrays the team and steals the case for himself before disappearing, leaving a fake case that explodes, seriously injuring Larry.
Gregor attempts to sell the case to the Russians but shoots his contact when he attempts betrayal. Gregor contacts Mikhi, the leader of the gangsters and threatens to sell the case to the Irish unless Mikhi pays a grossly inflated price for it, which Mikhi agrees to. Meanwhile, the rest of the team track Gregor through one of Sam's old CIA contacts and corner him in the Roman arena in Arles. Following a tense standoff and hectic firefight with Gregor and the Russians negotiating with him, Gregor escapes the coliseum but is kidnapped by Seamus, who kills Larry and escapes with Deirdre just as Sam and Vincent emerge from the coliseum. Sam, seriously wounded from the fight, is taken by Vincent to his friend Jean-Pierre (Michael Lonsdale) in a villa in rural France. After