Adam B. Vary
January 27, 2011 AT 02:00 PM EST

The new trailer for Soul Surfer — which EW is debuting exclusively — starts off like so many other sun-drenched surfing films: Lots of big waves, cute boys, upbeat soft rock, and a spunky teenager named Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb, Bridge to Terebithia) with a gift for riding the monster Hawaiian surf. But anyone familiar with Bethany’s true story knows what comes next: A shark takes a liking to her left arm, derailing her promising surfing career before it really had a chance to begin. The trailer also features co-stars Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid as Bethany’s parents, and country star Carrie Underwood in her feature film debut as a church youth group leader. But I’m most impressed with how boldly the trailer showcases Bethany’s missing arm — and the impressive visual-effects that made it seem like Robb went Method and had it removed for the role. Check out the trailer below: 

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