|“||If you really want to talk, I'll let you talk, so it's easier to find out, how full of shit they are.||„|
|~ Lee to Carter|
Chief Inspector Lee is one of the two main protagonists of the Rush Hour trilogy. He is the main protagonist of the Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 and the deuteragonist of Rush Hour 3 He is a Chief Inspector with the Hong Kong Police Force. Lee appears in all three of the films. He is partnered with Detective James Carter, who at first he doesn't get along with, but they later become best friends. Lee is portrayed by Jackie Chan.
Before The Series
Not much is known about Lee before the series but it is known that his father was a legendary cop in Hong Kong who Lee claimed once caught a bullet with his bare hands. His father later investigated an international smuggling case with his partner Ricky Tan (whom Lee met and befriended during his teen years). But when he discovered Tan worked for the Triads he attempted to tell his superior but Tan confronted Lee's father at gun point. When his father begged Tan to promise not to kill his son, Tan was upset by this so he shot Lee's father dead. The evidence disappeared the case was never solved and Tan resigned from the force. It is later revealed that although Lee had parents, he originally grew up in an orphanage with a foster brother named Kenji. They protected each other and were close as brothers as Lee likes to call him "Shoyng Dih". Lee was eventually adopted, leaving Kenji behind.
Lee is revealed to have been in the Police department for some time and is a personal friend of Chinese Consul Solon Han and is Kung-Fu instructor to Han's daughter Soo-Yung Han.
On the last day of British rule of Hong Kong in 1997, Detective Inspector Lee of the Hong Kong Police Force leads a raid at the wharf, hoping to arrest the unidentified, anonymous crime lord Juntao. He finds only Sang, Juntao's right-hand man, who escapes. Lee recovers numerous Chinese cultural treasures stolen by Juntao, which he presents as a farewell victory to his departing superiors, Chinese Consul Solon Han and British Commander Thomas Griffin.
Shortly after Han takes up his new diplomatic post in Los Angeles, his daughter Soo Yung is kidnapped by Sang. Han calls in Lee to assist in the case, but the FBI, afraid Lee's involvement could result in an international incident, pawn him off on the LAPD. Detective James Carter is tricked into ‘babysitting’ Lee as punishment for botching a sting operation; when Carter discovers this, he decides to solve the case himself.
Carter takes Lee on a sightseeing tour, keeping him away from the embassy while contacting informants about the kidnapping. Lee makes his own way to the Chinese Consulate, where Han and the FBI await news about his daughter. While arguing with Agent-in-charge Warren Russ, Carter accidentally involves himself in a phone conversation with Sang, where he arranges a ransom drop of $50 million.
The FBI traces the call to a warehouse, where a team of agents are killed by plastic explosive. Spotting Sang nearby, Lee and Carter give chase but Sang escapes, dropping the detonator. Carter's colleague, LAPD bomb expert Tania Johnson, traces the detonator to Clive, a man previously arrested by Carter. Lee guilt-trips Clive into revealing his business relationship with Juntao whom he met at a restaurant in Chinatown, and earns Carter's trust. Carter goes to the restaurant alone and sees a surveillance video of Juntao carrying Soo Yung into a van. Lee arrives and saves Carter from Juntao's syndicate, but they are taken off the case after the FBI blames them for ruining the ransom drop, with Lee sent back to Hong Kong.
But Carter refuses to give up; he appeals to Johnson for assistance and sneaks on board Lee's plane, persuading him to help finish the case and stop Juntao. Griffin later involves himself in the case, revealing more about the HKPF's past with Juntao's syndicate, and implores Han to pay the ransom to avoid further bloodshed.
At the opening of a Chinese art exhibition at the Los Angeles Convention Center, overseen by Han and Griffin, the now $70 million ransom is delivered and Carter, Lee, and Johnson enter disguised as guests. Carter distracts the guests into leaving for their own safety, angering the FBI, but Lee catches Griffin accepting a remote for the detonator from Sang. Lee and Johnson conclude that Griffin is Juntao when Carter recognizes him from the Chinatown surveillance tape. Griffin threatens to detonate a bomb vest attached to Soo Yung, and demands the ransom be paid in full, as compensation for the priceless Chinese artifacts he preserved from Lee's raid. Carter manages to sneak out, locate Soo Yung in the van, and drive it into the building within range of Griffin, knowing that setting off the vest would kill him as well.
Johnson manages to get the vest off Soo Yung while Griffin heads to the roof with the bag of money. Lee takes the vest and pursues Griffin, while Carter shoots Sang dead in a gunfight. Lee catches up to Griffin, resulting in a brief altercation that culminates in the two dangling from the rafters. Griffin, holding onto the vest, falls to his death when the vest is torn, but when Lee falls, Carter is able to catch him with a large flag.
Han and Soo Yung are reunited, and Han sends Carter and Lee on vacation to Hong Kong as a reward. Before Carter leaves, Agents Russ and Whitney offer him a position in the FBI, which he mockingly refuses. Carter boards the airplane with Lee, who annoys him by singing Edwin Starr's "War".
Rush Hour 2
Four days after Rush Hour Lee is promoted from Detective to Chief Inspector at the police station as he and Carter take a vacation to Hong Kong. However soon after they arrive a bomb explodes in the American embassy killing two U.S custom agents in the process. Inspector Lee is assigned to the case, which becomes personal when it is discovered that it somehow involves Ricky Tan (John Lone), his late police officer father's former partner on the Hong Kong Police Force. Tan, who was suspected, but never proven, of having a role in Lee's father's death, is now a leader of the Triads. Who are according to Lee are "the most deadly gang in China".
Rush Hour 3
At the beginning of the film Lee is no longer a Chief Inspector but has been demoted back to a Detective and was hired to become the bodyguard for Chinese Ambassador Solon Han who addresses the importance of fighting the Triads at the World Criminal Court, announcing that he may know the whereabouts of Shy Shen, a semi-mythical individual of great importance to the Triads. Before announcing, an assassin shoots and Han takes a bullet in the shoulder, disrupting the conference. Lee pursues the shooter and corners him, discovering that the assassin is his Japanese foster brother Kenji. When Lee hesitates to shoot Kenji, he makes his escape when Carter (having learned about the shooting over the police radio) arrives and tries to intervene. After Lee's childhood orphanage story involved with Kenji revealed shocking as a foster brother, Carter truly tries explains to Lee about had his younger little brother named Perry involved with cockfighting money gambling tournaments in his own family garage that he mentioned backgroundly. Perry's own brother (James Carter) informed the police reportedly, & putting up with it. Before Lee scolds Carter to stop talking nonsense annoyingly, Perry thinks his own brother is a tattletale, only because Carter's chicken lost in the semifinals animal fighting tournament gambling challenge, but Carter is seriously so apathy about it any longer.