Review: Babylon is a rollicking R18-rated ride of total madness

With Puss in Boots and Avatar keeping the kids occupied these holidays, a little something for the grown-ups is blasting its way onto the big screen and it's called Babylon.

From La La Land Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle, Babylon is once again all Hollywood. But strap yourselves in for this rollicking R18-rated ride, it's three hours of total madness.

This is the silent era of 1920s Hollywood stardom but there is nothing quiet about Margot Robbie's Nellie as she rolls into town convinced she's a star in the making.

This is a town of movie-making party people - uncontainable outrageous excess and deep dark depravity.

Brad Pitt likely doesn't have to reach too deep to superbly deliver the king of Hollywood Jack Conrad but as the talkies loom and times are a-changing, Jack Conrad time may be changing too.

Chazelle has a whole lot to say about the town he loves and he throws everything at our senses to say it. Grotesquely diverting and visually stunning, Babylon takes you by the throat and does not want to let go.

As a movie monument to movie-making itself, Babylon served me up some unforgettable moments and his grand finale catapulted me out of the cinema.

But as the dust settles I am left wondering whether this film was made just for Hollywood itself.

Four stars.