Based on the true story of Miami detective Mike Lowrey, BODYS FOR LIFE is an electrifying film that showcases the bond between brotherhood and duty. In the case of BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, retired Miami Police Detective Mike Lowrey (Denis Leary) has been told he has too much experience dealing with the criminal underground to try and bring organized crime down. Instead, he embraces his dream of returning to active duty and going after those responsible for his friend’s wrongful imprisonment. With the volatile serial killer blamed for the deaths of several Miami Police Officers behind bars, Miami Dade Police Detective Mike Lowrey is forced to use unconventional methods and high-risk surveillance tactics to bring down the drug ring that nearly killed his friend, former colleague, and family friend. With the help of an unexpected member of the Task Force, Lowrey captures notorious drug baron Tony Palladino (Ben Kingsley), putting the local criminals behind bars once and for all.
Though the execution of some scenes may be a bit over the top, the main storyline of BAD BOYS FOR LIFE provides a captivating, thought-provoking plot that delves into the darker side of Miami’s criminal underbelly. In addition to bringing in recognizable names from the Miami scene like Joannie Potts and Mickey Rankin, the film also features some fresh faces like Kay Panabaker (Efren Ramirez), who plays a low-life sex offender. While the film does rely heavily on its cop work, it does also take time to develop its plot, weaving it expertly with an interesting subplot involving the search for the original “hit” of Tony Palladino. The final scene in particular, which sees the arrest of a drug trafficking ring’s leader, is quite tense and beautifully shot by Todd Bailey, but fails to live up to expectations.
Regardless of the quality of the script, the direction of the film was somewhat lacking. In particular, the fight scenes between Mickey and Tony were over the top and unnecessary, especially when there was no obvious reason for such action to occur. With little character development, the entire film consisted of boilerplate dialogue, predictable events, and one uninteresting fight scene after another. Despite this minor gripe, that doesn’t take away for the overall entertaining tale of bad boys for life.