Morgan Freeman is a national treasure. The case could be made that Freeman has the voice of God – actually, he's played God. Convincingly, in fact. But, even five-time Academy Award nominees have to pay the rent – which is the only possible explanation for Freeman's voice being used as the voiceover in this weekend's release, 'Conan the Barbarian.' It's shocking to hear Morgan's prestigious vocal chords in such an unprestigious film! But, alas, this isn't the first time that Freeman has lent his talents to a less than stellar project. So, with that, here's a brief history of Morgan Freeman selling out.
'Hard Rain' (1998)
"It was a hard rain that year..." Surprisingly, these solemn words were never spoken as a voiceover at any point in this obvious, "I wouldn't mind having a second Porsche," role for Freeman. In 'Hard Rain,' he plays a criminal... you know, I'm going to stop right here... Morgan Freeman should never, ever play the bad guy. God? Yes. The President of the United States? Definitely. Never your villain. I should point out that Christian Slater and Randy Quaid are also in this movie. Not saying anything! -- just pointing that out.
'The Sum of all Fears' (2002)
"So you're telling me that Harrison Ford is no longer a part of this series and that Ben Affleck is going to be playing Jack Ryan? How many years until 'The Town' comes out and we all love Ben Affleck again? Eight? How much are you paying me again?"
'The Big Bounce' (2004)
The only possible explanation here is that Freeman was confused because Owen Wilson's character is inexplicably named Jack Ryan. I can only picture a flummoxed Freeman receiving the script thinking, Wait, what happened to Affleck? Owen Wilson is now playing Jack Ryan? Wait, didn't I die in that movie? Eh, what's the difference? I'm in. I should point out that Charlie Sheen is also in this film.
'War of the Worlds' (2005)
'War of the Worlds' is not a terrible movie – and is surprisingly Tom Cruise's biggest box-office hit to date. But Freeman's voiceover in 'War of the Worlds' came only one month before his heartbreaking voiceover in 'March of the Penguins.' How are we supposed to feel the pain of these poor penguins when I just heard you talking about space aliens that died from germs?
'The Bucket List' (2007)
To be fair, the thought of hanging out with Jack Nicholson for a few weeks, even in a bad movie, isn't the worst idea ever proposed in the history of humankind. Not only does Freeman co-star, he, of course, also does the voiceover.
'The Love Guru' (2008)
Freeman voiceover work was played for laughs. Upon hearing Freeman, the camera pans down to show us that The Love Guru (Mike Myers) is using some sort of Morgan Freeman voiceover machine (which he also does in the embedded clip, sans Freeman). Cute! That is until the film goes on to be one of the worst reviewed movies in history and Freeman's name is forever in the credits.
'Conan the Barbarian' (2011)
Good lord, what is Freeman doing in this movie? Perhaps the thought was that having Freeman narrate would bring some sort of gravitas to a film that 100 percent lacks gravitas – but what's the point? Having Freeman's voiceover throughout 'Conan' only makes the viewer wish that he were watching a film that deserved Freeman's voiceover work.
Watch the trailer for 'Conan the Barbarian'
And just for the heck of it, here is Freeman playing God in 'Bruce Almighty'
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