American Sniper is facing more criticism, but this time it has nothing to do with Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL whose life story is the basis of the biopic. Instead, viewers have taken issue with Bradley Cooper’s tiny costar, a partially-mechanized fake baby.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, American Sniper has faced scrutiny for leaving out one of Chris Kyle’s negative personality traits: his tendency to tell tall tales. His colorful fibs included a story about shooting Hurricane Katrina Looters and punching Jesse Ventura in a bar. According to the Wrap, American Sniper has also been criticized for celebrating a racist man who relished killing.
Hardcore Chris Kyle fans deified the soldier long before American Sniper hit theaters, and it’s safe to say that they’ll likely to ignore the aforementioned criticisms while taking in the movie. However, even the most loyal members of Kyle’s fan club might have a hard time ignoring the movie’s fake baby prop. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the audience at a media screening laughed out loud during one scene featuring the doll.
The scene in question shows Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) and his wife Taya (Sienna Miller) passing their tiny child back and forth during a conversation. Bradley looks a bit uncomfortable maneuvering the fake baby, and the awkward scene begins with Sienna pretending to breast feed the hunk of lifeless plastic. You can check it out below.
American Sniper‘s fake baby has become a hot topic on Twitter, and of course there’s a GIF of Bradley Cooper using his thumb to make the doll move its arm.
— CutPrintFilm (@cutprintfilm) December 31, 2014
I know everyone is down on the fake “American Sniper” baby but I’m just glad it was able to get some work after “Trainspotting”.
— Leonard Pierce (@leonardpierce) January 20, 2015
Pretty sure you can see the battery pack on Bradley Cooper’s freaky robot baby in AMERICAN SNIPER. — James Shotwell (@utgjames) January 8, 2015
How fake are you from 1 to American Sniper baby?
— Mia Müller (@dernachstestern) January 20, 2015
I hope the American Sniper fake baby wins for Best Supporting Cast; it’s accent had to be better than Bradly Coopers. — Angela (@funangela) January 20, 2015
Film critics and entertainment writers also had plenty to say about the fake baby, and most were completely mystified about why director Clint Eastwood would chose to use such a distracting prop. Luckily, a Telegraph article titled “The mystery of American Sniper‘s plastic babies” offers an explanation for the doll’s presence in the movie.
Last month, American Sniper screenwriter Jason Hall responded to the increasing chatter about the fake baby on Twitter. Hall revealed that the movie was supposed to feature real babies, but one got sick and the other didn’t show up for work.
“Hate to ruin the fun but real baby #1 showed up with a fever,” Hall tweeted.
“Real baby #2 was no show. (Clint voice) Gimme the doll, kid.”
According to the Telegraph, Hall later deleted this tweet. With the Oscar nominations looming, perhaps he decided that it was best to ignore the doll jokes. If too many Academy voters got fixated on the fake baby, the doll could have hurt American Sniper‘s chances of scoring nominations in certain categories. And maybe he was right — Clint Eastwood did fail to secure a Best Director nod.
What do you think of the American Sniper director’s decision to use the doll? Is it too distracting, and does it cheapen the film?
[Image credit: Warner Bros via ScreenCrush]