Oh I saw Nope today as well
I liked it more than you, but "interesting themes" are very important to me and "likeable characters" are definitely not, so that makes sense. The fact that the two main protagonists are mostly interested in making a buck makes me like the movie *more*. (Also, Jordan Peele, who adds his films full of specific references to black American history makes a protagonist named *OJ*? There's clearly some intentional undermining of the character here).
But yea - the first half was a slog to get through; the second half picks up a bit, but nothing here has the surreal creepiness of Us.