Ketzal Sterling is the head of a small gang of well dressed thieves-think of the characters in a Quentin Tarentino film like Reservoir Dogs. He's starts out in the morning with a large diamond ring to give to his girlfriend. He's walking down to the shops to meet his mate when he gets robbed. He calls his main man, they find out who the thieves are and begin to track down the stolen ring. In the meantime, they meet up with some interesting kiwi characters.
As it turns out, the ring is a prop for a robbery. Ketzal and his gang recover the ring, go to his girlfriends job, which turns out to be a jewelry shop. We'd been operating under the impression throughout the film that Ketzal was going to propose-hence the desperation to retrieve the ring. Instead he asks his girlfriend to stick the ring in the shop safe. Once she has opened the safe, the crew robs the shop.
Ok. So NZ is a small country. Big budgets for films are rare. A lot of things (winning the first America's Cup for example) get done with kiwi ingenuity. I'm willing to cut this film a lot of slack for some good dialogue. But the plot had some major flaws in it.
First, if the ring was just a prop for a robbery, this gang wouldn't have gone through an entire film desperate to recover it. They could have used any piece of jewelry that looked reasonably real.
Second, except for the guns which have been smuggled in over the past five years by Asian gangs and rifles kept by farmers, NZ does not have guns. Yep. Even the cops don't carry guns on their person. Makes it tough to make a good NZ crime film in the vein of Reservoir Dogs or Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (Widescreen Edition), but it is a fact.
Third, four guys roving around posh suburbs like Auckland's Kohimaramara with guns, black suits, and silver ties, would stick out like a sore thumb. If you are going to pull off a six million dollar robbery, you need to keep it on the QT.
Still, considering the small budget and seven days of production, this film is good. The dialogue is quick-there is some witty repartee. Ketzal Sterling was right to focus on the dialogue between gang members-on the phone and in person. With a small budget it would have been really hard to stage huge action scenes. For what he had to work with, I think Ketzal did good. There is some promise there. He also did pretty good at overcoming some major stumbling blocks to making a successful small indie film-like having the two main gang members roll around in a junker and explain it as stolen. It would have been too expensive to have a flash vehicle.
It makes me really sad that some reviewers have commented that these actors have Australian accents...except for the black actor who is clearly English, this film is kiwi and deserves NZ credit. And let's just get this clear-Peter Jackson, Russell Crowe 3:10 to Yuma (Full Screen Edition), Crowded House Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House, Keith Urban Greatest Hits, and Sam Neill The Piano ARE ALL KIWIS. The American media needs to get it straight.
You Move You Die, isn't my favourite NZ film, but it has it's merits. I much prefer Eagle vs. Shark, Heavenly Creatures, Flight of the Conchords - The Complete First Season, or Kombi Nation as examples of excellent film making and for insights into kiwi culture. But even Peter Jackson (the hugely successful director of The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition)) started out with low budget delights like Dead Alive.