Based very loosely on Robert Ludlum's novel, the Bourne Identity is the story of a man whose wounded body is discovered by fishermen who nurse him back to health. He can remember nothing and begins to try to rebuild his memory based on clues such as the Swiss bank account, the number of which, is implanted in his hip. He soon realizes that he is being hunted and takes off with Marie on a search to find out who he is and why he is being hunted.
When a body is recovered at sea still alive, the mystery man (Damon) seems to have forgotten everything in life, including who he was. Eventually he begins to remember smaller details in life and soon finds out that his name was Jason Bourne. What he doesn't like is that a gun and fake passports also belong to him. Now Bourne, and his new friend, Marie Helena Kreutz (Potente) travel from country to country in search of his new identity. But, someone else is not happy to see him alive, and is frantically trying to track him down.
On a stormy night, a young man is pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea by the crew of a fishing boat. Thinking the young man is dead, a curious fisherman with a scalpel finds two bullets in his back and a miniature laser device in his hip. The laser reveals a Swiss bank account number. But our wet hero isn't dead, and soon finds himself in Zurich. In the bank vault the young man discovers his name, Jason Bourne. In addition, he finds a baffling pile of different passports, all with his picture, and a huge pile of cash. In the U.S. Embassy, Jason Bourne discovers his love interest and travel partner, Marie, along with the fact that someone wants to kill him. Armed with a bag of money and mysterious martial arts skills, with Marie by his side, Bourne scours Paris for clues about his identity and past life... and finds himself in the middle of two assassination plots masterminded by the CIA.