There seems to be a formula for the adult party comedy: Assemble a hodgepodge of stars, throw them into a hastily crafted context, find some reason for a party and let the cameras roll. Plot and characters are rough drafts, while the party itself is filmed with a fervent meticulousness. But, the ultimate question remains: why?

No matter the output, these films keep coming, and it doesn’t appear that “Office Christmas Party,” the latest such addition to the collection of grown-up debauchery, will do anything to change that. Unfortunately, the film’s rather splendid assembly of a cast from various comedic walks of life can’t overcome the plot which, overloading on a variety of stories, leaves the film messy, confused and not all that funny.

There’s the main story: the Chicago branch of Zenotek, a technology company of sorts, isn’t performing up to standards. Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller, “Silicon Valley”) runs the branch, sharply departing from the no-nonsense leadership style of his sister, Carol (Jennifer Aniston, “We’re the Millers”), the interim CEO after their father passed. Their sibling rivalry plays out over company politics, and the Chicago branch is under threat of closure.

Clay recruits fellow branch executive Josh Parker (Jason Bateman, “Zootopia”) and head of technology Tracey (Olivia Munn, “The Newsroom”) to throw a raging Christmas party to convince a potential client, Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O. J. Simpson”), to choose Zenotek as his company’s provider. Davis’s company’s business would keep the Chicago branch afloat, making good on Clay’s bullish promise to give everyone at the branch a bonus.

And so the event begins, with extravagant fixtures stuffing the office with the imagery of Christmas, or something like it: an eggnog ice luge, a real life Nativity scene, plenty of lights, and Clay donned in his father’s Santa suit. But the film spends much of its time between coworkers, mingling awkwardly, drinking lightly — then very, very heavily — amid their mundane offices. Allison (Vanessa Bayer, “Saturday Night Live”) and Fred (Randall Park, “Fresh Off the Boat”) have an awkward attempt at a sexual encounter, Joel from Accounting (Sam Richardson, “Veep”) breaks out as a DJ with a penchant for air horn sounds and Mary, the all-too-common pent-up HR director (Kate McKinnon, “Ghostbusters”), tries to maintain her office’s sacrosanctity.

But given enough time, and certainly enough alcohol and drugs, everyone can break loose. And so does the story; taking a wild turn from a party to action sequence, with Clay leaving his office party for a hangout with a hilariously psychopathic pimp (Jillian Bell, “22 Jump Street”), who’s only aiming for his money. Excluding the risks from drugs, seven people nearly die, two couples are created (on-screen, at least), multiple orgies seem to take place, Kate McKinnon is at her Kate McKinnon-est and Zenotek ruins, and then saves, Chicago’s Internet. All in under two hours!

But while “Office Christmas Party” has a surplus of stories and characters, each lacks the fine quality needed to make the film memorable. There are a number of jokes that nearly land well, but as I write this sentence, about one hour since the credits rolled, I cannot recall a single one. There are few things sadder than a completely forgettable film but “Office Christmas Party” seems to be it, not quite a waste of time but certainly a waste of money.

For those short on time, revisiting your thoughts on “Sisters” or “Horrible Bosses” or “Neighbors” can form a personalized and concise review of this newer version, updated for 2016-relevant jokes. “Office Christmas Party” will please lovers of these films, but detractors will feel distant and equally disappointed.

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