T.A.O. of GTA V

UPDATE – 7/11/2013: A new trailer has been released by Rockstar for GTA V. See my review for it HERE

Today the fine, upstanding staff at Rockstar Games released a trio of trailers for their upcoming release, Grand Theft Auto V. Simply amazing that even in to the 5th of a series, and with a handful of sidesteps, the series is still fresh. I’m sure mainstream media will focus exclusively on the violence and sex and other devices that make this fictional vice ridden city so provocative (see what I did there?), so I’m sure we’ll all be lying in wait for the time when we gamers needed to defend our hobby AGAIN. But until then, lets take a look at the trailers, shall we?


One core concept of this rendition of the game is that it will have multiple playable characters. For each one of these characters, Rockstar has developed their own trailer. From what I can tell from the trailer as a whole, either it includes no gameplay footage or this game’s graphics are going to be EPIC!

Unfortunately for me, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of prying out much symbolism, deducing any hidden implications, or ascertaining any metaphors in this trailer. It all seems fairly straight forward. Michael is a middle aged man, whom at 0:52, proclaims. “I’m rich and I’m miserable! I’m pretty average for this town.”

The first concept is displayed throughout the first portion of the trailer. By the time we hit 0:10, we hear Michael’s therapist ask what it is that he truly wants. Michael’s reply “I don’t know. I want something that isn’t this”. It’s this nondescript admission that is going to be the focal point behind his character. As we hear this admission, we’re shown a red sports car pulling up to a very expensive looking house. He’s clearly unhappy with his life despite his financial success, but he just doesn’t know why. Judging by his clothes, he is dressed to have some kind of office job or career. In the next few scenes, we hear who I assume is his teenage daughter complain that Jimmy just called her a bitch while is throwing back some kind of beverage, probably hard alcohol. We also hear him claim that he just wants to “be a good dad” and “live the dream”. Again, very non-descript and also very lofty. We also see him wrestle something out of his daughter’s hand with her stomping off with an “I HATE YOU!!!”, an man-child looking friend asking “why do I have to hold your hand through this midlife crisis bullshit?”, and apparently Poolboy from Cabana Chat makes a cameo by jumping out of a window with presumably his wife, wearing nothing but a bedsheet, pleading for Michael not to kill him. So there’s his background; financially rich, yet completely devoid of everything that makes life worth living.

Moving in to the 2nd stage of the trailer, Michael again makes an admission “But at the same time, I really want the other stuff, too.” Again, non-descript. Immediately after that, we see footage of a truck ramming security van, someone in a gas-mask attaching explosives to the back doors of said van, and essentially a violent robbery of whatever valuable contents it may hold. After his therapist states that Michael “clearly is addicted to chaos”, with Michael quickly denying it, we’re then treated to a montage of Michael handing out some beatdowns amongst other violent outbursts. But to be fair, anyone who’s played golf can easily sympathize with that clip!

By the time his trailer ends, we see several instances of Michael throwing back some kind of hard liquor, so alcohol abuse is going to be part of his persona. And guessing by the size of the TV that he sends a chair through, he’s probably drinking the good stuff. Michael’s character is going to be interesting to see develop since he’s coming from such a well-to-do back story. To those who find this kind of behavior hard to believe, ask yourself this: How often are you staring at the TV news, seeing some celebrity or Fortune Whatever executive get caught up in some kind of illegal foolishness and you’re thinking, “Why would you do that!? You’ve got EVERYTHING!!”


Franklin’s trailer opens up outside of a Liquor store and Used Car lot. The first words we hear are “so you givin’ me a lecture ‘bout not bein’ a good enough gang banger?”, to which the reply is “That’s all we got!” The crew at Rockstar are wasting no time establishing the core of this back story! Franklin is now already established as being gang member who apparently failing the expectations of his peers. Immediately after this, we see someone get the rifle stock smacked across their jaw and another taking 1 to the chest. Clearly, Franklin is coming from a life of violent crime and is not afraid of getting his own hands bloody.

In the next scene we see Franklin with his hands out saying “Man, I thought we was trying to get out of this bullshit!” With this, we see that Franklin is seeing his life of crime as an escape plan rather than a career. This is also reinforced by Franklin claiming to “sound like someone trying to make some paper and not get killed!” Since this is a repeated theme in his trailer, Franklin trying to raise enough money to get out of town with everyone else mocking his aspirations of success, expect plenty of friction and betrayal from his long time “friends”.

Through the remainder of his trailer, we see several scenes of Franklin spending time at a strip club. Possibly one of his sources of income? Or at least a home base of operation for another crime lord? We also see the first motorcycle in Franklin’s trailer. There’s also enough gun fire, police sirens, and car chases to supply an episode of COPS.

In the case of Franklin, the repetition speaks for itself. He’s trying to save up enough cash to get out of the ‘hood, but everyone seems hell-bent on keeping him down with the rest of them.


Within the first 8sec, we hear, “Did I ever tell you about Trevor? Major drug dealer”, Trevor howling at the moon, and then pissing in the corner. Okkkkkk….Hold up, I’m going to need to pour me some Apple Pie Moonshine before writing this one up!

Ok, I’m back. After watching Trevor’s trailer in it’s entirety, I’m not exactly sure how much back story Rockstar wanted to give him. He’s a bit zany and eccentric with his finger pointing and commentary, he seems to enjoy punching people but has no qualms about utilizing a good ol’ fashion Louisville slugger, and oh ya, he’s all that and has a crop duster bi-plane. I don’t know who thought it would be a good idea to give this guy access to aircrafts, but I thank them for it! Clearly, Trevor is here for the comic relief and obligatory red-neck jokes. At 0:55, there’s even a nod to ICP (or Twiztid, whoever your preferred juggalo is) during an awkward request for a massage. There’s a few other clips of entertainingly spectacular vehicular mayhem to solidify his stance as the wild card, just in case there was any doubt left.

And that will conclude my brief interpretation of the trio of GTA V Trailers. I can’t wait to see how these storylines intersect and how they build on each other! The release date for GTA: V is September 17th, 2013…

…which I may have already scheduled a vacation day at the day job…


4 thoughts on “T.A.O. of GTA V”

  1. Great post on Grand Theft Auto 5 trailer Videos. I haven’t read any post that has broken down the each character’s story line that well. I also can’t wait for September 17th when this game will be released. With each passing day, I just keep growing more eager.

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