Hunter Duesing’s review:
Robert Downey gleefully tackles race, media, and politics with a pocket full of anarchy. Utterly relentless and leaves you breathless with laughter and disbelief. The titular black guy at a high-profile ad agency is accidentally put in charge, he changes the name of the company to "Truth & Soul" and sets out to subvert the advertising world. Scantily clad girls bouncing on trampolines advertise airlines, a young interracial couple from "Hair" sings about pimple cream, and a lady with soul dances through the streets proclaim that "you can't eat an air conditioner." But the corrupting influence of power is colorblind, and soon Swope steals everyone's ideas and behaves like a despot, even going so far as to chomp a cigar and dress like Castro, leading to a bomb-throwing finale. No one is safe, nothing is sacred. I am in awe of "Putney Swope", it's a blisteringly funny satire that has only gained relevance since its release.