As if to mirror the nature of the production the story deals with the Space Authority launching a mission that consists of Japanese astronaut Fuji (Akira Takarada) and American astronaut Glenn (Nick Adams) and who seem to be part of a program that was modeled after the Mercury space missions of the 60s. This particular mission that Fuji and Glenn find themselves on is to explore a planet that somehow has remained hidden behind Jupiter all these years, the scientific explanation of how this is possibly is that it’s a “dark planet” and gleefully ignores facts of planetary orbits which would make this planet being hidden all this time pretty much impossible. Regardless our two heroes are sent to explore this new heavenly body that has been named Planet X.
Sadly it's not this Planet X.When they land their XP-1 spacecraft on Planet X Fuji is shocked to discover very human looking footprints in the planetary dust, and when he calls for Glenn to inform him of this startling find he gets no response. Glenn and the XP-1 are missing. You’ve got to admit this is a pretty gripping opening for what is to be a rather light and fun science fiction/monster romp, and none of the actors in the film treat the subject matter in any kind of campy way, it’s all dealt with rather seriously. The same unfortunately can’t be said of the kaiju (giant monsters) in this film as they tend to come off as if they are doing various Three Stooges routines. Godzilla’s goofy victory dance is a prime example of this.
If we ever do meet aliens from outer space I do hope they have this kind of fashion sense.Meanwhile back on Earth Fuji’s sister Haruno (Keiko Sawai) is dating an inventor named Tetsuo (Akira Kubo) who just so happens to have invented a personal alarm device that has attracted the attention of a group of Xiliens covertly based on Earth. Under the guise of a Toy Company business woman and Xilien spy Namikawa (Kumi Muzuno) purchases the rights to the device, but in the contract Tetsuo signs it states that he won’t see a dime until the device goes into production. This lack of business smarts is one of only many reasons astronaut Fuji doesn’t want this guy marrying his sister. Of course we will later learn that the Xiliens can be crippled by certain sonic sounds and that the alarm Tetsuo invented functions on just such a wavelength, thus the goofball suitor will turn out to be a hero.
I’m betting Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” would have had the same effect.The nefarious plan of the Xilien's master controller is so over complicated that if you gave it a second thought you’d realize just how dumb it was. After Fuji and Glenn present the Xilien offer to the World Council it’s quickly discovered that the Xiliens already have flying saucers stationed on Earth, hidden under the surface of the lake the Xiliens claim is where Godzilla could be found, and the Controller gives explains that if they didn’t secretly come here early, “Godzilla and Rodan may have had time to do damage to your country.” The dumb humans buy this lame-ass excuse and soon the Xiliens are using gravitational beams to lift a sleeping Godzilla out of the lake and a napping Rodan from inside a mountain. There is no explanation as to why Godzilla is apparently hibernating under this random lake, nor is one given us to how Rodan became buried inside a mountain, they are just yanked from their various slumbers and taken into space.
Note: It took Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra to defeat King Ghidorah in the last film but good ole Mothra doesn’t even get shout out in this film. Her appearance most likely cut due to budgetary constraints.
We don’t get our first monster fight until about the fifty minute mark which considering the film’s running time is only ninety-four minutes long is a bit disappointing and another telltale sign of the film’s limited budget. Worse is that when Godzilla and Rodan finally face off against Ghidorah on Planet X the brawl is barely a couple minutes long. Godzilla pops up from behind a rocky outcropping to fire his atomic breath as if he was a cowboy in a shootout, while Rodan flies around being basically useless, and it ends with Godzilla doing the ridiculous victory dance and King Ghidorah just flying away.