MARVEL may have the coolest heroes but DC Comics has the wickedest villains.

That seems to be the philosophy behind Suicide Squad which sees director David Ayer lining up the baddies for a secret government task force. Implanted with ‘kill chips’ to keep them in line, these super villains are forced to help the save the world from an even bigger threat.

Suicide Squad appears to be DC and Warner Bros’s latest in a series of seemingly hopeless attempts to play catch up with the Marvel films and cash in on the big success of comic book films in general. It is about on a par with the equally flawed Batman v Superman.

The casting is good. Margot Robbie is exceptional as Harley Quinn, The Joker’s equally psychotic love interest. And although there were concerns about Jared Leto playing The Joker after Heath Ledger, he offers a more unpredictable, almost reptilian take on Batman’s nemesis.

But Will Smith’s hitman Deadshot is made to be too much of a sympathetic character, more of a worried dad than an anti-hero. This just goes against the whole feel of the movie – that these despicable characters are being forced to work for the government and are attempting to betray their keepers at every turn.

Beyond that, the rest of the villains are barely characterised in this overcrowded film which means you do not really care about their fate. Ayer’s film does have style but it is no substitute for the lack of substance, bad pacing and muddled plot

Suicide Squad is released on Monday