Attention: Very mild spoilers

The soundtrack isn't the worst part of Suicide Squad. That dubious honor would probably either go to Killer Croc, who is effectively a Blaxploitation stereotype covered in pounds of reptilian prosthetics or Jared Leto, who somehow manages to turn in an excessive, unlikable, over-the-top performance despite playing a character so inherently absurd he is referred to as "The Clown Prince of Crime".

But the soundtrack, specifically the music that made it into the film itself, is frustrating because so much of it seems brazenly antithetical to what writer-director David Ayer was trying to do by making a superhero movie that genuinely looked and felt different than its kin. Unfortunately, many of Suicide Squad's most significant moments (calling them iconic would be a stretch), are punctuated with what basically amounts to classic radio dad rock that doesn't even work on the ironic level at which it may have been intended.

If you were told that there was a superhero flick coming out that featured 'Seven Nation Army', 'Spirit in the Sky', 'Bohemian Rhapsody', and 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap', you'd assume it was Guardians of the Galaxy 2 going for another round of vintage tune nostalgia, not an ultra-dark, highly violent feature effectively trying to position itself as anti-Marvel.

The movie's soundtrack, released as its own accompanying album, is far from perfect, but it's at least ambitious and has attitude. In a way, it represents the best-case scenario of what Suicide Squad could have been: a flawed but fun patchwork that stands out from the everyday. It even features a Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic, Ty Dolla $ign, and X Ambassadors collaboration that somehow kind of works.

By using stock blockbuster songs, the movie loses a chance to commit to its left-field worldview and create a sense of consistency between the audio and the visuals. Sure, featuring well-known songs is a way of tying the movie world to ours, but that's also why you cast prominent actors like Will Smith and Margot Robbie to play the leads. Relying on artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival and AC/DC to keep the movie grounded doesn't make it feel relatable as much as generic, making the audience more aware that are watching a film not all that different than those it is allegedly trying to subvert.

The original songs on the soundtrack do a far better job fitting to what the movie seemingly wanted to accomplish. Grace's 'You Don't Own Me' is a flawed song, largely because it includes cringe-worthy G-Eazy lines like, "But I'm Gerald and I can always have just what I want," but it does feel unique, and its sentiment is one that would've better served both Robbie's Harley Quinn storyline and the film itself. The song defies authority and paints a portrait of a strong, independent woman, while the movie depicts Quinn as slavish, overly sexualized, and subservient to Jared Leto's Joker, who is so irritating and incomprehensible it's hard to believe any amount of torture could induce even the Stockholm Syndrome love Quinn seems to feel towards him.

The hip-hop on the soundtrack is hit-and-miss, but at least it's an attempt to give a film set primarily downtown at night a sense of urban grit. Sadly, Rick Ross-Skrillex collaboration 'Purple Lamborghini' is aggressively on-the-nose and Skrillex's hyperactive production doesn't suite Ross' Miami don composure. Kevin Gates' 'Know Better' is inexplicably not featured in the film, despite being a genuinely good song and Gates' melodic style having a certain cinematic grandeur. Gates is the perfect rapper for Suicide Squad, he's alternative, embraces his eccentricities no matter how unsavory they may be, and he truly doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. He's an ideal rapper to soundtrack a movie about bad guys forced to do good.

Some of the artist choices here are perfect for a superhero movie that features several prominent, powerful female characters, even if their arcs aren't handled especially well. Grimes and Kehlani in particular are extremely gifted women that are pushing the pop genre in exciting directions and aren't afraid to be brash and ruffle some feathers in the process. Grimes' track 'Medieval Warfare' is dark and brutal, with rollicking guitars, but it doesn't even make the theatrical cut. At least Kehlani's 'Gangsta' is included, albeit not prominently.

Maybe a movie with a $175 million budget simply couldn't rely on indie darlings to carry its soundtrack, but the film proves for one brief, frustrating moment that there is a middle ground that could have worked. The scene of the squad suiting up and gathering their weapons is backed by Eminem's 'Without Me', which is obviously a mega hit, but not one that makes you think of caped crusaders. It conveys everything Suicide Squad wanted to be and should have been: unhinged, zany, and dangerous.

A better soundtrack wouldn't have saved Suicide Squad, it simply falls short in too many other categories, but it would've helped to make the film feel like genuine counterprogramming to cookie-cutter superhero films. Instead, they gave us a Panic! at the Disco cover of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and a movie that only differs from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in that it is hard to follow and even harder to care about.