In the new book "Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie," Mark Millar himself, the creator of the comic book and coproducer of the movie, says his favorite moments in the film are "probably the Hit-Girl moments" (that's her in action, left). Without giving too much away, as Millar says, "She's just killed a man, and swears, and she's tiny! I think the impact of that is amazing. Then before you can catch your breath you see her wiping everyone out. It's startling to watch."

Director Matthew Vaughn says in the same making-of book, "I'll give you a million in one odds if you want that you will a) fall in love with Chloe, b) buy her and c) think, 'My god, I just saw the Jodie Foster/Natalie Portman of this generation."

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She definitely provides the cheap-thrill energy of the movie, and her bond with her dad (Nicolas Cage), who home-schools her as a vigilante, supplies the film with its most sardonic humor and persuasive stabs of emotion. And the audience around me was screaming things like "Best fight ever!"

But I found myself growing restless at the repeated audiovisual spectacle of an 11-year-old girl swearing like a graphic-novel Marine and committing dextrous, lavish acts of homicidal revenge.

It's a novelty number that can only be varied by growing more hyperbolic and frenzied.

I have no qualms about this film delivering the goods for a hard-core comics audience. I am appalled when it's sold on TV by girls of an indeterminate age testifying to how hyped they got from Hit Girl's slaughters.

What do you think? Is Hit Girl a new icon for the age? Or is her creation a desperate attention-getter and her advertising an act of rank exploitation?

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