The film is set after the end of the American Civil War. Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) is hiding in the American Rockies, contemplating a fire. A shot pierces the silence and hits Gideon, who is then convulsed in pain and quickly runs away, followed by his pursuers. Soon the audience learns why: Gideon is a hunted man. Colonel Morsman Carver (Liam Neeson), a Confederate officer, has hired several mountain men to trap Gideon so that Carver can avenge a terrible wrong that he once committed.From the snowy peaks, the story descends into the savannasfull of rapacious traders, vicious railway foremen and overly-welcoming missionariesand moves finally into the desert, where the two men challenge each other in the face of Mother Nature at her harshest, with surreal visitations (from Louise C. Fair) to guide them to their final confrontation.