A black-ops government agent agrees to spring a jailed cadre of mutant cutthroats and thieves because they’re apparently the only ones who can save the world from invading villains with godlike powers. Or something.

The film may have flipped a more effective bird at bloated superhero movies had it not so closely resembled its target genre. Starting with the moldy plot that dates back at least to The Dirty Dozen in 1967.

A good Will Smith heads up the adequate cast, but the movie is owned by Margot Robbie as the unpredictable, decidedly unhinged Harley Quinn. The woman was born for this kind of schmaltz, and I mean that in a good way.

We are first treated to at least eight maudlin backstories, none of which makes us care about the characters. Turns out these are the movie’s best parts. Lots of shooting, fisticuffs, explosions and empty attitude, leading up to a moronic climax.

Look at it as a quirkier, more nihilistic Avengers with a pseudo-noir, Deadpool angle; or a caffeinated, child-free X-Men; or maybe a garish and puerile Guardians of the Galaxy. It makes Batman vs. Superman seem coherent. The movie serves up its muddy storytelling with an irritating, misplaced sense of self-congratulation, but it’s nowhere near as subversive as the filmmakers think it is.

I’ve sat through far worse superhero ensemble flicks, which is not a hard thing to do. At least this one tries something different. But don’t take that as a recommendation. (123 min)