James Carter is a loud-mouthed, fast-talking LAPD detective who is forced to babysit Hong Kong inspector Lee when he's in from out of town to investigate a crime. Carter agrees to this mission with the intent of solving the crime himself.
in Rush Hour 2, Carter goes off to vacation in Hong Kong and visit his now good friend Lee. However, soon after he arrives, Carter's vacation turns business when a bomb goes off in the American Embassy.
in Rush Hour 3, Carter is no longer a detective but now a traffic cop in Los Angeles. This time the film opens back up in Los Angeles as Lee is a bodyguard for the Chinese ambassador Han.
James Carter: Lee, let me introduce you to Carter's new theory of criminal investigation: follow the rich white man. Lee: Follow the rich white man? James Carter: Behind every big crime there's a rich white man waiting for his cut.