Commissioner James Gordon has been one of the most overlooked heroes of Christopher Nolan’s spectacular Dark Knight Trilogy. When The Dark Knight Rises hit cinemas a couple of months ago, all the talk was around Bane’s reign of terror and Bruce Wayne’s state at the end. But one thing that was skimmed over was Gary Oldman’s once again sterling performance as Gotham’s chief of police.
Oldman is one of the finest actors working today and also one of the most overlooked. Whether he’s providing delicious over the top villainy in Leon, delivering a downbeat tour-de-force in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or brightening up the biggest of blockbuster franchises, he’s a completely dependable actor with an eye for a good project. And Jim Gordon may just be his finest performance of all.
Unlike many of the other supporting characters in Nolan’s epic, Gordon has a proper development arc over the three films, starting out as a lone good cop who, through an assault on the mob and corruption, becomes the leader of a resistance and a hero in his own right. In previous film attempts, he was more of a police liaison who explained why Batman was never arrested. For his saga, Nolan has provided Oldman with a truly great character that evolves as much as Batman and his city. Gordon is ultimately a metaphor for the state of Gotham.
And so in tribute to this excellent, but often ignored commissioner, here’s his ten finest moments from The Dark Knight Trilogy. There were lots of small moments I really wanted to include, but just couldn’t fit in. The look on his face when Batman’s return appears on the TV, the bittersweet reveal of the statue and the loving ‘this time, I saved him’ to his son; all great moments that couldn’t quite make the list. The ten moments here showcase Oldman’s versatility and show all sides of Gordon’s character. It’s no coincidence that they are also some of the best moments in the series.
This article was first posted on September 3, 2012