The smartphone app Waze specializes in "outsmarting traffic" by providing crowdsourced directions and tips about nearby conditions, which includes updates about traffic jams, accidents, and even patrol cars in the area. While the handy app has helped commuters save time on their daily drive, it has also made a name for itself in terms of entertainment by providing users with a variety of celebrity and character voices to enhance its turn-by-turn-navigation feature.
Since 2013, Waze has offered navigation from the likes of comedian Kevin Hart, in conjunction with the first Ride Along movie, as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator (when Terminator Genisys was released) and later Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Now, Waze is getting another distinctive voice: None other than Morgan Freeman. Waze announced Monday that it has made Freeman’s voice available, in character as Vice President Trumbull in London Has Fallen, the upcoming sequel to Olympus Has Fallen.
Freeman-as-Trumbull, the company said in a press release, "will be the voice of Waze, helping you, the President, safely navigate the streets and into theaters where the sequel opens nationally March 4, 2016. Buckle up, listen closely and enjoy the (power) trip." As with the previous voices, the Freeman directions will be available for a limited time.
Olympus Has Fallen, released back in 2013, was something of a throwback high-concept action movie, bringing back lots of tropes more associated with the action films of the 80s and 90s than those of today. Borrowing plot aspects of Die Hard, Air Force One, Executive Decision, In the Line of Fire and other films, it centered on the president, a hostage situation, an outlandish terrorist plot, and a whole lot of explosions. The sequel promises more of the same, with stars Freeman, Gerard Butler, and Aaron Eckhardt returning, while the action is moved to London and the plot expanded to include a conspiracy to assassinate several world leaders. The first film was no masterpiece, but it was enjoyable and fun, anchored in part by Freeman (then the Speaker of the House) essentially playing Glenn Close’s Air Force One part, rallying America while the president was held hostage.
Then again, while Freeman’s voice is certainly iconic, the character of Vice President Trumbull really is not. Those driving with his voice on may be comforted by the dulcet tones of the great actor’s voice, but the presidential references may be lost on them.
The Waze app is available now from the App Store and Google Play and can be downloaded from the web here; existing users can add Freeman's voice in their settings.
London Has Fallen will be released in theaters March 4.