MR-9: Do or Die

With slick action scenes and solid acting, MR-9: Do Or Die is an action flick which seems a bit out of step with its contemporaries.  I mean that in a good way.  It feels very 1990, especially with the amount of logical leaps it makes, but - as the film is based on a long-running set of novels about Masud Rana, the Bangladesh James Bond - you’re going to be rooting for this one all the way through to the end.

Even if the splash it makes is fairly inconsequential.  Sure, it opens with an outstanding 10-minute action sequence, but it soon calms down in order to move the character chess pieces around.

"wears its influences on its sleeve and does little to separate it from all the other C-grade riffs"

MR-9: Do Or Die stars Abm Sumon (Dhaka Attack) as our hero, Masud Rana and, as the film opens, he’s on a highly dangerous mission.  He’s shooting everyone and the violence, while mostly CGI, adds to the intense situation he faces as he’s on the hunt for Roman Ross (Frank Grillo, Boss Level), but - in spite of Rana’s best efforts, two targets are killed and Ross gets away, free to join up with his billionaire brother Ricci (Matt Passmore, Nox) and keep on running their corrupt robotics company, which is a front for some bad, bad, very bad arms dealing.

And it hasn’t escaped the attention of the CIA either, who actively recruit Rana to help them with the trail of debris this terrible twosome leaves in their wake.  Quite suddenly, Rana finds himself joining forces with Duke (Michael Jai White, One More Shot, The Hit) and Paul (Niko Foster, Redwood Massacre: Annihilation, Check Point) with the main objective of taking down these two bloodsoaked criminals. 

Directed by Asif Akbar (Skeletons in the Closet), MR-9: Do Or Die wears its influences on its sleeve and does little to separate it from all the other C-grade riffs there have been on the Bond formula.  Yet, it is more successful than it isn’t as Grillo, giving a great performance, easily steals the show and Sumon, moving like a cougar through this concrete jungle, does a fine job as our hero at odds with a whole bunch of cutthroat goons. MR-9: Do or Die

Co-starring wrestler-turned-actor Oleg Prudius (Miami Heat, Wolf Warrior 2) and Kelly Greyson (Disturbing the Peace, Sleeping Dogs), the film is loaded with good-looking - almost model-like - people, which adds to the splashy effect of watching this very slick production.  While some moments feel out of place in a story like this, there’s a lot of solid action beats to keep the audience tuned in to what Akbar is selling.

For low budget actioners you can do a lot worse than MR-9: Do Or Die.  I just wish there was a lot more visible fun being had on screen than there is right now.  Yes, we get action, but as it is really hard to take this movie seriously, I feel more actors - outside of Frillo - should have been mugging it up for the camera.  Because we get a second movie teased at the end, my hope is that another installment will be far more playful. 

MR-9: Do Or Die is now streaming on VOD and digital platforms from Quiver Entertainment.

3/5 stars

Film Details

MR-9: Do or Die

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
106 mins
: Asif Akbar
Asif Akbar; Nazim Ud Daula; Abdul Aziz
Frank Grillo; Michael Jai White; Kelly Greyson
: Action | Thriller
Based on the "Masud Rana" Spy novel series.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Quiver Distribution
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 23, 2024
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: An elite Bangladeshi spy teams up with a CIA operative to bring down an international criminal organization headed by a ruthless businessman.


MR-9: Do or Die