As he admits in his review, the pre-release backlash made Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair really, really want to like the movie. Unfortunately, he writes, the final product simply isn't good enough to defend. "Ghostbusters, quick and dull and weightless, offers very little to root for," Lawson writes. "It spends so much time doing battle with its legacy that it forgets to be its own movie, putting a talented cast to waste and marking another disappointment in this dreadful summer movie season."
Similar to other critics, Lawson was let down by all four lead performances. "McCarthy and Wiig spend the entire movie on mute, turning in bland, disconcertingly joyless performances that further deaden an already lifeless movie," he writes. He also writes that Jones feels like she's trapped in a movie from the 1990s and that McKinnon's popular Saturday Night Live shtick "proves grating and incoherent in movie-length form."
Also failing to live up to expectations are writers Fieg and Kate Dippold, who "seem hampered by what I'm guessing is a combination of studio pressure to focus on action and special effects, and a reflexive fear of the long shadow cast by the original film," Lawson argues. "It's a real bummer that these filmmakers felt they had to be so careful—with beloved I.P., with a female-driven movie," Lawson concludes. "It's the dumbest of ironies, really, that they do, in the end, seem pretty afraid of a ghost."