Gomez said earlier this year she hoped to back-burner her music career and focus on movies going forward. But now that goal may be in question.
“Getaway” starred Ethan Hawke, Paul Freeman, Rebecca Budig and Bruce Payne. Hawke plays washed up race car driver Brent Magna, who discovers that his home has been ransacked and his wife kidnapped.
The kidnapper tells him to steal a customized Shelby Mustang equipped to track his every move. He’s given a series of instructions that he must follow explicitly or his wife will die. Gomez plays a street tough kid who tries to carjack the Mustang. Actually the car is hers; she just wants it back.
Selena, Ethan Talk ‘Getaway’
Turns out, Gomez’s character is also a computer whiz who lends her skills to help Magna follow the instructions and get his wife back. The film was supposed to have the same break-neck pacing as a video game and capitalize on the popularity of the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise.
But critics ripped it to shreds. It only received a 3 percent rating on RottenTomatoes, which tracks movie reviews. Even worse, 60 percent of the people who saw it gave it a thumbs down as well.
The film was released in just over 2,100 theaters on Aug. 30 and was pulled after less than four weeks. The film did not go into international release, according to boxofficemojo, which tracks box office receipts.
As a result, it only grossed $10.4 million domestically, well below its modest $18 million production budget.
Judging from a survey of major reviews, almost every aspect of the film was trashed, from the acting, the plot and film editing to the “herky-jerk” cinéma vérité shooting style.
“Maybe the title isn’t a title, but an instruction: “Getaway,” away from this movie, and fast,” wrote Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic.
The film is her first major starring role since 2013’s mix-reviewed “Spring Breakers.” While she got most of the publicity for the coming-of-age movie, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson did all of the heavy lifting in that film.
Gomez didn’t take any of the chances that Hudgens and Benson did, and her role, the tamest of the trio, suggested she was overly concerned about squeaky clean image. The same could be said for “Getaway,” judging by the critical reaction.
“Selena Gomez is so laughably bad that Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs is only the second-most-awkward performance by a former Disney star this week,” wrote a critic.
Of course, she wasn’t helped by an ill-formed character and inane dialogue.
Perhaps, Selena was attracted to “Getaway” because Hawke, an A-Lister with a number of fine films to his credit, was attached to it. Plus it was another step toward more mature roles like “Spring Breakers.”
Whatever the case, she and her reps put too little effort into researching the script before she took the part.
Gomez has two more films in the works and perhaps one of them will give her a chance to redeem herself. She’s set to appear in “Behaving Badly” and “Rudderless.” Both are in pre-production and scheduled for release in 2014.
The former is a comedy aimed at a teen audience, while “Rudderless” is a musical drama starring William H. Macy, who also directs. Both are well within her “Wizards of Waverly Place” comfort zone.
Whether she’ll try more challenging roles after the “Getaway” fiasco remains to be seen. But if she doesn’t, she better not give up on her music career just yet.