Benjamin Svetkey
April 15, 2009 AT 06:19 AM EDT

It doesn’t star Bruce Willis and there aren’t any explosions in it, but John McTiernan’s latest movie — a 50-minute web video titled The Political Prosecutions of Karl Rove — sure has one heck of a plot twist. According to the legendary Die Hard director’s documentary, President Bush’s top political adviser, Karl Rove, along with a shadowy group of Republican judges and prosecutors called the Federalist Society, perpetrated a vast right-wing conspiracy to disgrace, intimidate, and even jail Democratic opposition in swing states all over the country. Hardly a news flash to anyone following the Bush Justice Department scandals. But McTiernan doesn’t stop there; he claims that Rove was the unseen hand behind the fall of New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer (who, the documentary claims, never would have been caught with a $1,000-per-night hooker if it weren’t for Rove’s meddling), along with dozens, if not hundreds, of other damaging Democratic scandals.

More to the point, McTiernan posits that it was Rove who got the investigation started on Hillary Clinton’s old house detective, a Hollywood private dick named Anthony Pellicano. That investigation led to a certain legendary Die Hard director pleading guilty in 2006 to lying to the FBI about hiring the detective (to spy on producer Charles Roven). In other words, this documentary suggests that McTiernan was himself a victim of Rove’s political vendettas.

I dunno. As someone inclined to believe just about anything evil about Karl Rove and the Bush Administration, I still have a hard time with this documentary. For one thing, McTiernan doesn’t devote a single frame of film to a Republican with a different point of view. For another, it’s actually pretty badly made — it’s too much information presented without any context or elaboration. All of which may explain why the director never got a distribution deal on the film, and instead had to release it online (on a website with pop up ads for Smiley Faces and Internet porn). Personally, I’d rather McTiernan go back to blowing stuff up with Bruce Willis. But what do you think, PopWatchers? Does McTiernan make his case?

addCredit(“McTiernan: Everett Collection; Rove: Win McNamee/G”)

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