…Misleading? The film is a biopic of the inspiring story of surfer Bethany Hamilton who, as a 13-year-old, lost her arm to a shark attack while out surfing at Tunnels Beach, Kauai in 2003. That day, a 15-foot tiger shark shark bit her arm almost completely off just below the shoulder. She lost bout 70% of her blood and, ironically, took her father’s place in the operating room as he was scheduled for a knee operation. Within a month, though, Hamilton returned to the board and re-taught herself how to surf with only one arm. She ended up being the 2004 ESPY award winner for Comeback Athlete of the Year and in 2005, won the NSSA National Championships. I remember seeing the story not long after the attack and being impressed with her spirit. But the trailer here makes it look like just another a typical “girl with big dreams overcomes the odds to make good” story, despite mentioning that it’s based on Hamilton’s real life story. Seeing the clip, it comes across as Coyote Ugly or Center Stage or Honey or any of the Step Up flicks moved to the beach.
…Generic? Pursuant to that notion above, pepper in some boilerplate emo teeny bop music and the “one girl, one dream” tagline, and you think you’re getting any of the aforementioned flicks. There’s one brief shot of her surfing with one arm and a profile shot of her looking at her board after the attack. But if you didn’t know anything about Hamilton, would you think the film was anything but?
…Off the mark? There’s a compelling story here. But the trailer makes it look like Blue Crush 2 rather than 127 Hours.
Anyway, the film does look to have some good visuals, though, both below and above the waves, and star AnnaSophia Robb does very much look the part. So we’ll see. Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood and Kevin Sorbo co-star. The clip is over at Coming Soon and you can check it out below. Soul Surfer comes out on April 8th.